Capecitabine in addition to anthracycline- and taxane-based neoadjuvant treatment in patients with primary breast cancer: phase III GeparQuattro study

Gunter von Minckwitz, Mahdi Rezai, Sibylle Loibl, Peter A Fasching, Jens Huober, Hans Tesch, Ingo Bauerfeind, Jörn Hilfrich, Holger Eidtmann, Bernd Gerber, Claus Hanusch, Thorsten Kühn, Andreas du Bois, Jens-Uwe Blohmer, Christoph Thomssen, Serban Dan Costa, Christian Jackisch, Manfred Kaufmann, Keyur Mehta, Michael Untch
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010 April 20, 28 (12): 2015-23
PURPOSE Capecitabine can be integrated either concomitantly or sequentially to anthracycline-plus-taxane-based regimens. PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients with large operable or locally advanced tumors, with hormone receptor-negative tumors, or with receptor-positive tumors but also clinically node-positive disease were recruited to receive preoperatively four cycles of epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide (EC; epirubicin 90 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2)). Patients were then randomly assigned to four cycles of docetaxel (100 mg/m(2)), four cycles of docetaxel + capecitabine (TX; docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) plus capecitabine 1,800 mg/m(2)), or four cycles of docetaxel (75 mg/m(2)) followed by four cycles of capecitabine (1,800 mg/m(2); T-X). Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) -positive tumors received trastuzumab concomitantly with all cycles. Primary objectives were to assess the effect of docetaxel by comparing EC plus docetaxel versus EC plus TX and to assess the effect of duration by comparing EC plus TX versus EC plus T-X on pathologic complete response (pCR, without invasive/noninvasive breast tumor, regardless of nodal status) at surgery, irrespective of trastuzumab treatment. Results Of 1,509 patients starting EC, 1,421 were randomly assigned to docetaxel (n = 471), TX (n = 471), or T-X (n = 479). At surgery, pCR rates were 22.3%, 19.5%, and 22.3%, respectively; the difference for docetaxel (EC plus docetaxel v EC plus TX) was 2.8% (95% CI, -2.4% to 8.0%; P = .298).The difference for duration was -2.8% (95% CI, -8.0% to 2.4%; P = .298). Breast conservation rates were 70.1%, 68.4%, and 65.3%, respectively (P = .781 for docetaxel; P = .270 for duration). Concomitant but not sequential treatment with docetaxel was associated with more diarrhea; nail changes, and hand-foot-syndrome, but it was associated with less edema. CONCLUSION Adding capecitabine to or prolonging duration of neoadjuvant EC plus docetaxel does not result in higher efficacy at surgery.

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