Biweekly docetaxel-irinotecan treatment with filgrastim support is highly active in antracycline-paclitaxel-reffactory breast cancer patients

Giuseppe Frasci, Giuseppe D'Aiuto, Renato Thomas, Pasquale Comella, Maurizio Di Bonito, Liliana Lapenta, Massimiliano D'Aiuto, Gerardo Botti, Paolo Vallone, Vincenzo De Rosa, Roberta D'Aniello, Renato Giordano, Giuseppe Comella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and activity of combination treatment with docetaxel (DTX) and irinotecan (CPT-11), given together every other week, combined with filgrastim support, in anthracycline- and paclitaxel-pretreated breast cancer (BC) patients. Patients and Methods: Advanced BC patients pretreated with anthracycline- and paclitaxel-based chemotherapy were eligible. DTX (80 mg/m2) and CPT-11 (100 mg/m2) were given biweekly with filgrastim support (300 μg/day on days 4-7). Results: Fifty patients (48 with metastatic and 2 with locally advanced cancer) were enrolled, with a total of 318 cycles being delivered. Thirty-one patients had visceral localizations. All patients had received epirubicin plus paclitaxel, with or without cisplatin, as front-line treatment for advanced disease. Overall, fatigue and diarrhea were the main chemotherapy-related toxicities in this study, being severe in 10 (20%) and 4 (8%) patients. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 18 (36%) and 6 (12%) patients, respectively. Red blood cell transfusions were required in 4 patients. A total of 32 objective responses were registered (overall response rate, ORR = 64%, 95% confidence interval = 49-77%), including 8 complete responses (16%). An additional 8 patients showed stable disease. After a median follow-up of 18 (range 4-29) months, 30 patients were still alive, and 19 were progression free; median progression-free and overall survivals were 10 and 23 months, respectively. Conclusions: Biweekly DTX/CPT-11 with G-CSF support is a well-tolerated and highly effective approach in anthracycline-/paclitaxel-pretreated patients. The very promising ORR and survival outcome observed in this subset of patients with a poor prognosis suggest that this regimen might play a major role in the management of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Biweekly administration
  • Breast cancer
  • Docetaxel
  • Irinotecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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