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Poster Discussion - Breast cancer, early stage

5429 - Long-term results of the PACS 04 trial evaluating adjuvant Epirubicin plus Docetaxel in node-positive breast cancer and Trastuzumab in the HER2-positive subgroup


28 Sep 2019


Poster Discussion - Breast cancer, early stage


Veronique D'Hondt


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v55-v98. 10.1093/annonc/mdz240


V. D'Hondt1, J. Canon2, L. ROCA3, C. Levy4, J. Pierga5, F. Le Du6, M. Campone7, I. Desmoulins8, P. Viens9, M. Debled10, J. Ferrero11, D. Serin12, A. Hardy Bessard13, E. Brain14, N. Dohollou15, H. Orfeuvre16, J. Lemonnier17, H. Roche18, S. Delaloge19, F. Dalenc18

Author affiliations

  • 1 Medical Oncology, ICM Regional Cancer Institute of Montpellier, 34090 - Montpellier/FR
  • 2 Department Of Oncology-hematology, Grand Hopital de Charleroi Site Notre Dame, 6000 - Charleroi/BE
  • 3 Biostatistics, ICM Regional Cancer Institute of Montpellier, 34090 - Montpellier/FR
  • 4 Radiotherapy, Centre Francois Baclesse, 14076 - Caen/FR
  • 5 Medical Oncology, Institut Curie, 75005 - Paris/FR
  • 6 Medical Oncology, Centre Eugène Marquis, 35000 - Rennes/FR
  • 7 Medical Oncology, Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest -Pays de la Loire, 44805 - Saint Herblain/FR
  • 8 Department Of Medical Oncology, Centre Georges-François Leclerc (Dijon), 21000 - DIJON/FR
  • 9 Medical Oncology, Institute Paoli Calmettes, 13274 - Marseille/FR
  • 10 Medical Oncology, Institut Bergonié, 33076 - Bordeaux/FR
  • 11 Medical Oncology, Centre Anticancer Antoine Lacassagne, 06189 - Nice/FR
  • 12 Medical Oncology, Institut Ste Catherine, 84082 - Avignon/FR
  • 13 Medical Oncology, Hôpital Privé des Côtes d'Armor, 22190 - Plérin/FR
  • 14 Medical Oncology, Hôpital René Huguenin - Institut Curie, 92210 - St. Cloud/FR
  • 15 Oncologie - Radiothérapie, Polyclinique Bordeaux Nord, 33300 - Bordeaux/FR
  • 16 Medical Oncology, Centre Hospitalier de Bourg-en-Bresse (Fleyriat) CH De Fleyriat, 1012 - Bourg en Bresse/FR
  • 17 Research And Development, UNICANCER, 75654 - Paris/FR
  • 18 Medical Oncology, Institut Universitaire du Cancer -Toulouse- Oncopole, 31059 - Toulouse/FR
  • 19 Breast Oncology, Gustave Roussy, 94805 - Villejuif/FR


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Abstract 5429


Long term information on the risk/benefit ratio of currently available therapies remains crucial for treatment decisions. In the PACS04 phase III trial, patients (pts) with node-positive (N+) breast cancer (BC) were double-randomized to concomitant taxane-anthracycline versus standard FEC, as well as 1-year trastuzumab versus nill in the HER2+ subpopulation.


3009 pts (20% HER2+, 12% triple negative (TNBC) BC) were randomly assigned to receive 6 cycles of fluorouracil 500 mg/m2, epirubicin 100 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2 (FEC) or epirubicin 75mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 (ED). Pts with HER2+ tumors were randomized to either trastuzumab (TRA) for one year, or observation (OBS). The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS).


After a median 115-month follow-up, DFS was not different in the ED compared to the FEC arm (70% vs 68% respectively, HR = 0.88 [95% CI: 0.77-1.01]; p = 0.064), nor was OS: 80% with FEC and 81% with ED (HR = 0.97 [95% CI: 0.81-1.16]; p = 0.729). Subgroup analysis suggested better DFS with ED in non-TNBC pts [HR = 0.82 (0.71-9.96) p = 0.02]. In the 528 pts with HER2+ BC, there was trend for a higher DFS in the TRA arm (68%; [95% CI: 61-74]) versus the OBS arm (60%; [95% CI: 54-66]); HR = 0.77 [95% CI:0.57-1.03]; p = 0.079 (intent to treat population). In the per protocol population, DFS, but not OS, was significantly higher in the TRA arm (HR: 0.69 [95%CI: 0.51-0.94]; p = 0.0156). ED led to more neurological and hematological toxicities (31% vs 11% febrile neutropenia) and led to 5 versus 1 treatment-related deaths. During follow-up, 75 pts developed a second non-breast primary cancer (43 with FEC and 32 with ED); 12 were hematologic malignancies (7 with FEC and 5 with ED). Long term cardiac deaths were rare (3 with FEC and 1 with ED).


This study did not show superiority of the concomitant anthracycline-taxane arm, which was more toxic in high-risk N+ BC pts. Long-term results of the HER2+ subpopulation are in line with the other adjuvant TRA trials but less striking probably due to lack of power. Long term cardiac toxicity and second primary cancer rate are similar to what has been reported by others.

Clinical trial identification


Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

UNICANCER. 101 rue Tolbiac, 75013 Paris, France.


Roche, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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