"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”
A trial looking at cabazitaxel for HER 2 negative breast cancer that has spread to the brain (CiPHER)
This trial looked at a chemotherapy drug called cabazitaxel for people with HER2 negative breast cancer that had spread to the brain.
It was open for people to join between 2015 and 2017, and the team analysed the results in 2019.
More about this trial
Some breast cancers have large amounts of a protein called HER2. They are called HER2 positive breast cancers.
But some breast cancers have either none or very little HER2. They are called HER2 negative cancers. This trial was for people with HER2 negative breast cancer.
Some treatments target the HER2 protein, so they are less useful for cancers that are HER2 negative. This trial looked at a chemotherapy drug called cabazitaxel as a possible treatment for people in this situation.
The main aim of the trial was to find out if cabazitaxel is a useful treatment for HER2 negative breast cancer that had spread to the brain.
Summary of results
The research team found it hard to find people to take part in this trial. So it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the results.
This trial was for people with HER2 negative breast cancer that had spread to the brain and couldn’t be removed with surgery.
The people taking part were put into a treatment group at random. Two out of every 3 people had cabazitaxel. And one out of every 3 people had standard treatment. In the standard treatment group, the doctors decided which treatment was best. This depended on each person’s situation.
The research team hoped that about 100 people would join this trial. But they found it more difficult than they expected to find people who wanted to, or were able to, take part. So they decided to stop the trial earlier than planned.
A total of 19 people joined the trial. They were put into a treatment group at random:
- 13 had cabazitaxel
- 6 had standard treatment
The research team looked at how long it was before the cancer started to grow. They found it was:
- 2.8 months for those who had cabazitaxel
- 6.5 months for those who had standard treatment
They also looked at how long people lived for, and found it was:
- 4.8 months for those who had cabazitaxel
- 8.2 months for those who had standard treatment
The research team cannot say for sure that the differences in these results are down to the different treatments. This is because of the small number of people who took part. The difference in results could be due to chance.
10 out of 13 people (77%) who had cabazitaxel and 4 out of 6 people (67%) who had standard treatment had at least 1 serious side effect.
Two people who had cabazitaxel stopped treatment because of the side effects they were having.
It is hard to draw any firm conclusions from this trial because of the small number of people who took part. But the results suggest cabazitaxel doesn’t help people with HER2 negative breast cancer that has spread to the brain live longer.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Zafar Malik
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit