Recent Article on Treatment of T1ab, N0, HER2+ Breast Cancer

I recently found another article discussing the adjuvant therapy question for small invasive node negative HER2+ breast cancer.  It cites the the Kaiser study by Dr. Fehrenbacher et al. (cited extensively in my earlier posts) in which very low rates of distant recurrence were found:  0.9% in T1a (0.1cm<invasive tumor size<0.5cm) and 5.8% among T1b (0.5cm<invasive tumor size<1.0cm).  The article also brought up the worry of cardiotoxicity outbalancing the possibly small benefit of adjuvant therapy for patients with very small tumors.

Although the first two-thirds of the article seemed to project a positive prognosis for T1ab, N0, HER2+ breast cancer, it did wrap up with the following quote, thus buttressing my decision to undergo Taxol and Herceptin treatment.

In the meantime, Dr. Hortobágyi said that his group, and many others, “considers that risk of recurrence exceeding about 10% deserves adjuvant chemotherapy, and in the HER2 positive group we believe the risk exceeds, by far, that level. Therefore, we discuss trastuzumab and chemotherapy with all patients without significant comorbid conditions if they have any size-invasive, HER2 positive breast cancer.”

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