Background. Survival of patients with human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) has improved dramatically since trastuzumab has become available, although the disease eventually progresses in most patients. This study investigates the outcome (overall survival [OS] and time to next treatment [TNT]) in MBC patients pretreated with trastuzumab in the adjuvant setting (TP-group) compared with trastuzumab-näive patients (TN-group) in order to investigate the possibility of trastuzumab resistance. Patients and Methods. Patients treated with first-line HER2-targeted- containing chemotherapy were eligible for the study. A power analysis was performed to estimate the minimum size of the TP-group. OS and TNT were estimated using Kaplan-Meier curves andmultivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Results. Between January 1, 2000, and June 1, 2014, 469 patients were included, of whom 82 were in the TP-group and 387 were in the TN-group. Median OS and TNT were significantly worse in the TP-group compared with the TN-group (17 vs. 30 months, adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.84 [1.15-2.96], p5.01 and 7 vs. 13 months, adjusted HR 1.65 [1.06-2.58], p5.03) after adjustment for age, year of diagnosis, diseasefree interval, hormone receptor status, metastatic site, and cytotoxic regimens. Conclusion. First-line trastuzumab-containing treatment regimens are less effective in patients with failure of adjuvant trastuzumab compared with trastuzumab-näive patients and might be due to trastuzumab resistance. The impact of trastuzumab resistance on the response on dual HER2 blockade with trastuzumab and pertuzumab and how resistance mechanisms can be used in the optimization of HER2-targeted treatment lines need further investigation.

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Keywords Human epidermal growth receptor 2 positive, Metastatic breast cancer, Overall survival, Trastuzumab
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Journal The Oncologist
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Rier, H.N. (Hánah N.), Levin, M.-D, van Rosmalen, J.M, Bos, M.M.E.M, Drooger, J.C, de Jong, P.C, … Jäger, A. (2017). First-line palliative HER2-targeted therapy in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer is less effective after previous adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy. The Oncologist, 22(8), 901–909. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2016-0448