Sherrill B, Di LA, Amonkar MM, Wu Y, Zvirbule Z, Aziz Z, Bines J, Gomez HL. Quality-of-life and quality-adjusted survival (Q-TWiST) in patients receiving lapatinib in combination with paclitaxel as first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2010 Apr 1;26(4):767-75.

BACKGROUND: In a phase 3 randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, first-line therapy with lapatinib plus paclitaxel significantly improved clinical outcomes based on a pre-planned analysis of ErbB2+ metastatic breast cancer patients (GSK Study #EGF30001; identifier: NCT00075270). Patients with ErbB2- or untested did not significantly benefit. This article focuses on the quality of life (QOL) and quality-adjusted survival outcomes (Q-TWiST) in the study.

METHODS: QOL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B). Changes from baseline were analyzed using ANCOVAs, repeated measures and pattern mixture modeling. The Q-TWiST method was used to examine the trade-off between toxicities and delayed progression.

RESULTS: The study included 579 subjects, of whom 86 were ErbB2+. In the ITT population, no significant differences in QOL or Q-TWiST scores were observed. In the ErbB2+ subgroup, the lapatinib plus paclitaxel (L + P) arm demonstrated stable FACT-B scores over the first year, while average scores for patients on P + placebo (P + pla) monotherapy decreased (change from baseline: L + P, p = 0.99; P + pla, p = 0.01). Clinically meaningful differences were observed between treatment arms on the FACT-B, Trial Outcome Index and breast cancer subscale scores. Pattern mixture models suggested more QOL differentiation between treatments among patients who progressed or withdrew early. Q-TWiST differences between the arms in the ErbB2+ subgroup ranged from 2 to 15 weeks with an L + P advantage across all utility weight combinations.

CONCLUSIONS: In the ITT population, results provide no evidence of QOL differences between treatment groups. In a small, prospectively-defined subgroup of ErbB2+ patients, L + P resulted in more stable QOL and more quality-adjusted survival than paclitaxel monotherapy, representing clinically important differences between treatments.

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