[Safety of adjuvant dose-dense chemotherapy with paclitaxel and epirubicin for high-risk breast cancer]

Wei-Hua Wu, Qing Li, Bing-He Xu, Pin Zhang, Long-Mei Zhao, Peng Yuan, Jia-Yu Wang, Rui-Gang Cai, Ai-Ping Zhou
Zhonghua Zhong Liu za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Oncology] 2008, 30 (7): 548-51

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety and tolerance of adjuvant dose-dense chemotherapy with paclitaxel and epirubicin for high-risk breast cancer.

METHODS: From January 2004 to December 2006, 101 patients with high-risk breast cancer after surgical resection were enrolled into this study. The patients were divided into two groups: dose-dense and regular groups. Each patient received 6 cycles of chemotherapy with intravenous administration of paclitaxel (175 mg/m2, on D3) and epirubicin (60 mg/m2, on Dl and D2). The dose-dense group had repeated treatment every two weeks, while the regular group repeated it every three weeks. G-CSF was used in a dose of 3 microg/kg on D5-D9 during each cycle in the dose-dense group. While in the regular group, it was used only under the condition that grade II neutropenia occurred.

RESULTS: The toxicity could be evaluated in 101 patients. Major grade II-IV toxicities included: neutropenia, nausea, vomiting and alopecia. The incidence of grade III-IV neutropenia was 16.0% in the dose-dense group versus 54.9% in the regular group (P = 0.000); postponing of chemotherapy was 2.4% versus 6.0% (P = 0.027). Ninety-eight patients completed the chemotherapy as planed. After a median follow-up of 24 months, the median DFS and OS were not reached. The relapse-free rate and survival rate were 89.8% and 100% in the dose-dense group, which were 87.8% and 93.9% in the regular group. The relapse-free rate of the high-risk patients in the dose-dense group was 86.8% versus 81.3% in the regular group, and the corresponding survival rate was 100% versus 90.6%.

CONCLUSION: Adjuvant dose-dense chemotherapy with paclitaxel and epirubicin is safe, tolerable and promising for high-risk breast cancer.

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