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BREAST CANCER: 53% of patients receiving neoadjuvant PARP inhibition (talazoparib) achieved complete pathological response in this small (n=20) study of germline BRCA1/2 mutant patients. A larger trial is underway.


Feb. 24, 2020


Neoadjuvant Talazoparib for Patients With Operable Breast Cancer With a Germline BRCA Pathogenic Variant

Journal of Clinical Oncology 38, no. 5 (February 10, 2020)


Talazoparib has demonstrated efficacy in patients with BRCA-positive metastatic breast cancer. This study evaluated the pathologic response of talazoparib alone for 6 months in patients with a known germline BRCA pathogenic variant (gBRCA-positive) and operable breast cancer.


Eligibility included 1 cm or larger invasive tumor and gBRCA-positive disease. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive tumors were excluded. Twenty patients underwent a pretreatment biopsy, 6 months of once per day oral talazoparib (1 mg), followed by definitive surgery. Patients received adjuvant therapy at physician’s discretion. The primary end point was residual cancer burden (RCB). With 20 patients, the RCB-0 plus RCB-I response rate can be estimated with a 95% CI with half width less than 20%.


Twenty patients were enrolled from August 2016 to September 2017. Median age was 38 years (range, 23 to 58 years); 16 patients were gBRCA1 positive and 4 patients were gBRCA2 positive. Fifteen patients had triple-negative breast cancer (estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor < 10%), and five had hormone receptor-positive disease. Five patients had clinical stage I disease, 12 had stage II, and three had stage III, including one patient with inflammatory breast carcinoma and one with metaplastic chondrosarcomatous carcinoma. One patient chose to receive chemotherapy before surgery and was not included in RCB analyses. RCB-0 (pathologic complete response) rate was 53% and RCB-0/I was 63%. Eight patients (40%) had grade 3 anemia and required a transfusion, three patients had grade 3 neutropenia, and 1 patient had grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Common grade 1 or 2 toxicities were nausea, fatigue, neutropenia, alopecia, dizziness, and dyspnea. Toxicities were managed by dose reduction and transfusions. Nine patients required dose reduction.


Neoadjuvant single-agent oral talazoparib once per day for 6 months without chemotherapy produced substantial RCB-0 rate with manageable toxicity. The substantive pathologic response to single-agent talazoparib supports the larger, ongoing neoadjuvant trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03499353).