ASCO Guidelines: Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer Guideline Update


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An interview with Dr. Fabrice Andre from Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris Sud University, in Paris, France on "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx." This update provides updated recommendations on chemoendocrine therapy for patients who present with a hormone receptor positive, HER2 not overexpressed, axillary node negative early breast cancer.


The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Fabrice André from the Institute Gustave Roussy in Paris, France, lead author on "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early Stage Invasive Breast Cancer. ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx." Thank you for being here today, Dr. André. Thank you. So based on the title of this guideline, we know that this update was prompted by the results of the TAILORx trial. So can you tell us more about that trial and what its results were? Yes. So the TAILORx trial was a trial that randomized two treatment modalities, endocrine therapy versus chemotherapy endocrine therapy in patients who presented what we call an intermediate recurrence cohort. So before moving to the results, maybe we can discuss a little bit the background. What we knew from the past is the fact that patients who present a recurrence score below 11 should be treated with endocrine therapy alone, because they have the good outcomes. And patients who present recurrence score that is high, 31 but also can be more on 25, should receive chemotherapy. And we are talking about patients with hormone-receptor receptor positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer without lymph node involvement. And this is extremely important. So to summarize, it's a clinical trial that includes patients with hormone-receptor positive HER2-negative lymph node negative in early breast cancer, who present with recurrence score between 11 and 25. And the question is whether we can avoid adjuvant chemotherapy in these patients who present this intermediate score. So this is the general design and the question. In terms of research, what we have learned. We have learned that for patients above 50 years old, there is no difference between endocrine therapy and chemotherapy followed by endocrine therapy. So it means that this patient or these patients, we would consider endocrine therapy alone. Then, for patients below 50 years old, there was some difference. And I think we go further into the detail. There was some difference favoring the use of chemotherapy in the group of patients who presented with recurrence score from 16 to 25. And so what changes were made to the recommendations in this update of the guideline? So first, what were [INAUDIBLE] the previous guidelines. The previous guidelines were telling the clinician which genetic tests they could use in patients with hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer. Now, the big change is that we are making guideline to explain how to use the test. And what is new is that we have made three important decisions. So first, for the patient is at the age above 50, now it is recommended clinician may recommend endocrine therapy alone for women older than 50 who present a recurrence score below 26. Before, the recommendation to use endocrine therapy alone was for patient's who present with low recurrence score. So it means now we have broadened-- we have increased the number of patients who could receive endocrine therapy alone and not receive chemotherapy. Then, for patients who present a recurrence score between 16 to 25 and who are below 50 years old, the clinician may offer chemotherapy followed by endocrine therapy, meaning that we are moving from [INAUDIBLE]. This intermediate score between 11 to 25 was what we call a [INAUDIBLE]. There was no recommendation on how to use the recurrence score. So right now, the update from the ASCO guideline is to provide recommendation on which treatment to administer in case a patient presents with intermediate recurrence score, and there are two different situations above 50 years old and below 50 years old. So why are these changes so important and how will they affect practice? So they will affect practice because for many reasons, I will say. In the US, they would affect practice because they increase the number of patients who will not receive adjuvant chemotherapy, because right now, we have an answer from randomized trial that we can avoid chemotherapy in women above 50 and from 11 to 25 recurrence score. So the impact in terms of public health would be that we could have a decrease in the use of chemotherapy or at least a better precision about who should receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Globally, this trial is going to provide an incentive and increase the level of evidence supporting the use of genetic tests. So it's important to remember that in a large number of countries, genetic tests are not reimbursed. But now, because lack of evidence, and here we have a randomized trial showing a level 1 evidence supporting the use of genetic tests. So we have two direct impacts of this trial. The first, inside US, where [INAUDIBLE] colleagues already use genetic tests, it provides better precision on who will receive adjuvant chemotherapy. And it's going to broaden the number of patients who will not receive. And globally, it's prospective randomized trial that we hope is going to incite payers to reimburse the genetic test in patients with early breast cancer. And so what does this all mean for patients with early stage invasive breast cancer? And what should they talk to their doctors about? So for patients with early breast cancer, so what are the messages for the patient? I think for the patient, the key message is that we are moving to precision medicine. We need a medicine that is extremely precise in terms of who should receive which treatments. And now, thanks to this trial, we are going to decrease the number of patients who receive chemotherapy, but also for the ones who will receive adjuvant chemotherapy, the value of the treatment, we need what the treatment provides to the patient is going to be very, very high. So what is important for patients is to understand that because of this trial, when we give them chemotherapy, we will know that the value of this treatment and the expected benefit is going to be higher than what we used to do in the past. So it's really fast forward and more precise medicine that consists in using molecular tests in order to provide or administer treatment with very high value. Great. Thank you Dr. André for your overview of this guideline update. This has been very informative. It's really good to hear that the expert panel has incorporated the latest research into the guideline and has carefully considered the implications for the patients. So thank you for coming on the podcast to discuss the "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx" Thank you. What people don't realize is we did hard work that ASCO doing with all these guidelines, and people are very committed, and they are [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, it's very reassuring for ASCO member to know that there are highly professional people who provide guidelines and it is also reassuring for the patients, for everyone. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. To read the full guideline, go to And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast, and refer the show to a colleague.

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