Clinical trial

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 142, Issue 1, pp 89-99

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Treatment of older patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer with pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel: subgroup analyses from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial (CLEOPATRA)

  • David MilesAffiliated withMount Vernon Cancer Centre Email author 
  • , José BaselgaAffiliated withMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Memorial Hospital
  • , Dino AmadoriAffiliated withIRCCS Scientific Institute of Romagna for the Study and Treatment of Cancer (IRST)
  • , Patrapim SunpaweravongAffiliated withSongklanagarind Hospital, Prince of Songkla University
  • , Vladimir SemiglazovAffiliated withNN Petrov Research Institute of Oncology
  • , Adam KnottAffiliated withRoche Products Limited
  • , Emma ClarkAffiliated withRoche Products Limited
  • , Graham RossAffiliated withRoche Products Limited
  • , Sandra M. SwainAffiliated withWashington Cancer Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center


Although the incidence of cancer increases with age, older patients are under-represented in cancer treatment trials, resulting in limited data availability in this patient population. Here we present results from pre-defined subgroup analyses conducted by age group (<65 vs ≥65 years) from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Patients who had not received previous chemotherapy or biological therapy for HER2-positive locally recurrent, unresectable or metastatic breast cancer were randomly assigned to treatment with placebo, trastuzumab, and docetaxel or with pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel. Primary endpoint was independently assessed progression-free survival. We performed pre-specified subgroup analyses of progression-free survival according to age. The study is registered with, NCT00567190. 808 patients were enrolled. Of those, 127 patients were 65 years of age or older (placebo arm: 67, pertuzumab arm: 60). Patients in both age groups experienced progression-free survival benefit with treatment in the pertuzumab arm (<65 years: HR: 0.65; 95 % CI 0.53–0.80; ≥65 years: HR: 0.52; 95 % CI 0.31–0.86). Diarrhoea, fatigue, asthenia, decreased appetite, vomiting, and dysgeusia were reported more frequently in patients 65 years of age or older compared with younger patients. Neutropenia and febrile neutropenia were reported less frequently in the older age group. The efficacy and safety data reported in CLEOPATRA suggest that the combined use of pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should not be limited by patient age.


Elderly HER2 Metastatic breast cancer Older women Pertuzumab Trastuzumab