The following article features coverage from the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

The addition of atezolizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) did not come with added treatment burden, according to an analysis of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) data from the phase 3 IMpassion031 trial ( Identifier: NCT03197935). The PROs data were presented at the 2020 Virtual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

The IMpassion031 trial previously showed that, among patients with early TNBC, pathologic complete response rate was superior for those who received atezolizumab and chemotherapy compared with chemotherapy alone. 

The patient perspective was captured during and after treatment using the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and GP5, a single item from the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) questionnaire.

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Physical function and role function were high at baseline and temporarily declined during neoadjuvant treatment for both treatment arms. Physical function returned to baseline for both arms during the adjuvant period. Role function did not completely return for those in the atezolizumab arm, while it did return for participants in the chemotherapy-alone arm.

“We attribute this to the fact that these patients continue to receive atezolizumab, which required that they come to a clinic for that therapy, thereby potentially impacting role function,” said study presenter Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Treatment-related symptoms, which were fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea, worsened for both arms during neoadjuvant treatment but improved during the adjuvant period.  Also, the frequency of patients reporting being bothered by treatment was similar between both arms during the neoadjuvant and adjuvant period.

Study discussant Sylvia Adams, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Breast Cancer Center at New York University, commented that neoadjuvant therapy “certainly” can be linked to deterioration in quality of life and functioning, but that this is “transient.” She added that there was no evidence of burden from atezolizumab.

Disclosures: Some of the presenters disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the presentation abstract.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the 2020 SABCS meeting by visiting the conference page.


Mittendorf EA, Harbeck N, Zhang H, et al. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) from the Ph 3 IMpassion031 trial of neoadjuvant (NA) atezolizumab + chemo in early triple-negative breast cancer (eTNBC). Presented at: 2020 Virtual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; December 8-11, 2020. Abstract GS3-02.