Cancer Communications
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[ Special series on Breast Cancer ]
doi: 10.1186/s40880-017-0196-5
Weekly taxane-anthracycline combination regimen versus tri-weekly anthracycline-based regimen for the treatment of locally advanced breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial
Qiu-Wen Tan, Ting Luo, Hong Zheng, Ting-Lun Tian, Ping He, Jie Chen, He-Lin Zeng and Qing Lv
Department of Breast Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University
[Abstract]

Background
Extensive studies have confirmed the efficacy of taxanes in combination with anthracycline-based chemotherapy on breast cancer. However, few studies have assessed the efficacy of weekly taxane–anthracycline regimens on locally advanced breast cancer. This study was to compare the efficacy and safety of a weekly taxane–anthracycline regimen with those of tri-weekly anthracycline-based regimen in patients with locally advanced breast cancer.
Methods
Patients with locally advanced breast cancer were randomized to receive 4–6 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with tri-weekly 5-fluorouracil–epirubicin–cyclophosphamide (FEC) regimen or weekly paclitaxel–epirubicin (PE) regimen. The primary endpoint was the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate. Other endpoints included the clinical tumor response, breast-conserving surgery rate, and adverse events.
Results
Between March 2010 and September 2013, 293 patients were randomized to the FEC (n = 151) and PE (n = 142) arms. The overall clinical response rate was significantly higher in the PE arm than in the FEC arm (76.06% vs. 59.95%, P = 0.001). Consistently, the post-chemotherapy pathologic T and N stages were significantly lower in the PE arm than in the FEC arm (P < 0.001). However, the pCR rate was similar in the two arms (10.61% vs. 12.31%, P = 0.665). Overall, 36 (27.27%) patients in the FEC arm and 6 (35.28%) in the PE arm were qualified for breast-conserving surgery. Most adverse events were comparable in both arms, with more severe neutropenia in the PE arm than in the FEC arm (11.97% vs. 5.96%, P = 0.031).
Conclusions
In patients with locally advanced breast cancer, weekly PE was not superior to FEC in terms of pCR. However, weekly PE has a higher response rate and superior down-staging effects. On this account, the PE regimen may be considered an alternative option for locally advanced breast cancer. Long-term follow-up data are needed to confirm the efficacy of this regimen on locally advanced breast cancer.
Chinese Journal of Cancer 2017, Volume: 36, Issue 6
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Qiu-Wen Tan, Ting Luo, Hong Zheng, Ting-Lun Tian, Ping He, Jie Chen, He-Lin Zeng and Qing Lv. Weekly taxane-anthracycline combination regimen versus tri-weekly anthracycline-based regimen for the treatment of locally advanced breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Chin J Cancer. 2017, 36:27. doi:10.1186/s40880-017-0196-5


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