Capecitabine in combination with docetaxel and epirubicin in patients with previously untreated, advanced breast carcinoma

Marco Venturini, Antonio Durando, Ornella Garrone, Maria Antonietta Colozza, Antonio Contu, Ilaria Stevani, Franco Genta, Claudia Bighin, Antonio Lambiase, Lucia Del Mastro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The objective of this study was to evaluate the activity and safety of oral capecitabine in combination with docetaxel and epirubicin (TEX) as first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced/metastatic breast carcinoma. METHODS. This open-label, Phase II study was conducted at six Italian centers. Treatment consisted of epirubicin, 75 mg/m2 (intravenous bolus), and docetaxel, 75 mg/m2 (1-hour infusion), both administered on Day 1, plus oral capecitabine, 1000 mg/m2 twice daily, on Days 1-14 of each 3-week treatment cycle. RESULTS. A total of 67 patients received 392 cycles of treatment, with a median of 6 cycles in patients with Stage III disease (n = 34 patients) and a median of 8 cycles in patients with Stage IV disease (n = 33 patients). The objective response rate was 82%, including complete responses in 21% of patients. A greater proportion of patients with Stage III disease achieved tumor responses compared with patients who had Stage IV disease (97% vs. 67%, respectively). Among 34 patients with Stage III disease, pathologic complete responses were confirmed in 10 patients (29%). TEX chemotherapy demonstrated an acceptable safety profile. There was a low incidence of Grade 3 adverse events, and Grade 4 adverse events were particularly rare (4%). The most common Grade 3-4 adverse event was febrile neutropenia, which occurred in 16% of patients. CONCLUSIONS. TEX combination therapy has important antitumor activity and an acceptable safety profile in this setting. A large, randomized, Phase III trial is ongoing to compare TEX chemotherapy with an epirubicin plus docetaxel regimen in patients with untreated, advanced breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1180
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Advanced breast carcinoma
  • Capecitabine
  • Docetaxel
  • Epirubicin
  • Phase II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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