Docetaxel given after doxorubicin reduces recurrence

Jan 08, 2008

Adding the drug docetaxel to anthracycline-based chemotherapy slightly improved disease-free survival in breast cancer patients, according to a randomized clinical trial published online January 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Docetaxel has previously been shown to be more effective than doxorubicin (an anthracycline) for treating patients with advanced breast cancer. Therefore, researchers wanted to test it in patients receiving chemotherapy after surgery.

Prudence Francis, M.D., of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted a randomized, controlled phase III trial that compared patients who received doxorubicin-based chemotherapy with and without docetaxel. The trial also examined whether docetaxel should be given after doxorubicin or at the same time. The researchers compared disease-free survival for each treatment.

Overall, patients receiving the docetaxel treatment had an improvement in disease-free survival that was borderline statistically significant. Patients receiving docetaxel after doxorubicin had a five-year disease-free survival rate of 78 percent, compared with 74 percent for those receiving the two drugs at the same time. Patients in the control arm—those who received only doxorubicin-based chemotherapy—had a five-year disease-free survival rate of 73 percent. However, there was no statistically significant difference in overall survival between patients who received docetaxel and those who did not.

“Important differences may be related to doxorubicin and docetaxel scheduling, with sequential, but not concurrent, administration appearing to produce better [disease-free survival] than anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy,” the authors write.

Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Explore further: Second-line cetuximab active beyond progression in quadruple wild-type patients with mCRC

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.