advanced breast cancer
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Background: Anthracyclines and taxanes are the most active drugs against breast cancer and the search after their optimal combination is under intensive investigation in both the advanced and early disease settings. A dose-finding study of epidoxorubicin (E) and docetaxel (D) was conducted in advanced breast cancer (ABC) to define the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the combination with and without granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) support and to characterise its toxicity and activity profile. Patients and methods: Forty-two patients who received neither palliative chemotherapy nor adjuvant anthracyclines (55% with dominant visceral disease and 66% with ≥2 sites involved) with measurable/evaluable lesions, were treated at four dose levels starting from E 75 mg/m2 and D 75 mg/m2 to E 120 mg/m2 and D 85 mg/m2. A maximum of four cycles of the combination was given every three weeks and four additional cycles of single agent D were allowed in responding patients. Cardiac function was monitored at baseline and at every second course by echocardiography. Results: Febrile neutropenia (two patients) and prolonged, severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count (ANC) 〈0.1 × 109/l for more than three days; one patient) defined the MTD of the combination without G-CSF support at E 90 mg/m2 and D 75 mg/m2. G-CSF was then routinely administered from the subsequent dose level of E 120 mg/m2 and D 75 mg/m2. The MTD with G-CSF support was established at E 120 mg/m2 and D 85 mg/m2 (one patient with neutropenic fever together with failure of ANC recovery at day 21, three patients with ANC less than 0.1 × 109/l for more than three days, one patient with both and one patient with grade 4 thrombocytopenia and toxic death from typhlitis while neutropenic). No severe neurotoxicity, mucositis, or fluid retention were observed and there were no clinical signs of cardiotoxicity. Antitumour activity was not a primary endpoint of the study: the overall response rate (ORR) in 40 evaluable patients was 60% (95% confidence interval: 43%–75%, 58% in liver disease, 84% in soft tissue) with no apparent dose-related effect. After a median follow-up of 19 months (range 2–30+), the overall time to progression (TTP) in nine patients without maintenance hormonal therapy was five months. Conclusions: The combination of E and D proved to be an effective and safe regimen in poor- prognosis patients with ABC. G-CSF support allowed higher doses to be delivered safely but dose escalation did not translate into improved response rates (RR). The MTD without growth factors support was used, in a phase II trial, which also included patients with previous anthracycline-containing adjuvant regimens.
Type of Medium: