Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

ESMO Breast 2019: Intermittent vs. Continuous Chemotherapy in HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2019

For patients with advanced HER2-negative breast cancer, continuous chemotherapy offered a greater survival benefit compared with intermittent scheduling, according to recent analyses of the Stop&Go study. Frans Erdkamp, MD, PhD, of the Zuyderland Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues presented their data at the 2019 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Annual Congress (Abstract 158P_PR).

“Our main focus in this analysis was on the efficacy of second-line treatment, although, interestingly, the updated overall survival results showed that for the whole population (those who received first line only or first and second lines of treatment), survival was better with continuous treatment as well,” stated Dr. Erdkamp in an ESMO press release.

This phase III study enrolled 420 patients with advanced HER2-negative breast cancer; they received either an intermittent (4 cycles, time off, then 4 more cycles) or continuous (8 cycles in concession) schedule of chemotherapy. Both first-line treatment of paclitaxel plus bevacizumab and second-line treatment of capecitabine or nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin followed the two schedules.

For patients who were given second-line treatment, the median progression-free survival was 3.5 months with the intermittent schedule and 5 months with the continuous schedule (hazard ratio = 1.04). The median overall survival was 10.6 months for intermittent and 12 months for the continuous schedules. The median combined first- and second-line progression-free survival for all patients in the study was 12.7 months and 13.9 months for intermittent and continuous scheduling, respectively (hazard ratio = 1.21).

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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