A Randomized, Controlled Phase II Trial of Neoadjuvant Ado-trastuzumab Emtansine, Lapatinib, and Nab-paclitaxel Versus Trastuzumab, Pertuzumab, and Paclitaxel in HER2-positive Breast Cancer (TEAL Study)

Tejal A. Patel; Joe E. Ensor; Sarah L. Creamer; Toniva Boone; Angel A. Rodriguez; Poly A. Niravath; Jorge G. Darcourt; Jane L. Meisel; Xiaoxian Li; Jing Zhao; John G. Kuhn; Roberto R. Rosato; Wei Qian; Anna Belcheva; Mary R. Schwartz; Virginia G. Kaklamani; Jenny C. Chang


Breast Cancer Res. 2019;21(100) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Neoadjuvant dual human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) blockade with trastuzumab and pertuzumab plus paclitaxel leads to an overall pathologic complete response (pCR) rate of 46%. Dual HER2 blockade with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) and lapatinib plus nab-paclitaxel has shown efficacy in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. To test neoadjuvant effectiveness of this regimen, an open-label, multicenter, randomized, phase II trial was conducted comparing T-DM1, lapatinib, and nab-paclitaxel with trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and paclitaxel in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

Methods: Stratification by estrogen receptor (ER) status occurred prior to randomization. Patients in the experimental arm received 6 weeks of targeted therapies (T-DM1 and lapatinib) followed by T-DM1 every 3 weeks, lapatinib daily, and nab-paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks. In the standard arm, patients received 6 weeks of trastuzumab and pertuzumab followed by trastuzumab weekly, pertuzumab every 3 weeks, and paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks. The primary objective was to evaluate the proportion of patients with residual cancer burden (RCB) 0 or I. Key secondary objectives included pCR rate, safety, and change in tumor size at 6 weeks. Hypothesis-generating correlative assessments were also performed.

Results: The 30 evaluable patients were well-balanced in patient and tumor characteristics. The proportion of patients with RCB 0 or I was higher in the experimental arm (100% vs. 62.5% in the standard arm, p = 0.0035). In the ER-positive subset, all patients in the experimental arm achieved RCB 0-I versus 25% in the standard arm (p = 0.0035). Adverse events were similar between the two arms.

Conclusion: In early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer, the neoadjuvant treatment with T-DM1, lapatinib, and nab-paclitaxel was more effective than the standard treatment, particularly in the ER-positive cohort.