Combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, fluorouracil, and either epirubicin or mitoxantrone: A comparative randomized multicenter study in metastatic breast carcinoma

Piero Periti, Franco Pannuti, Gioacchino Robustelli Della Cuna, Teresita Mazzei, Enrico Mini, Angelo Martoni, Piero Preti, Letizia Ercolino, Lorenzo Pavesi, Angela Ribecco

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From February 1987 to January 1989, 60 patients with advanced breast cancer and no prior chemotherapy for advanced disease were randomized and studied, with 31 treated with fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC) and 29 patients with fluorouracil, mitoxantrone, and cyclophosphamide (FNC). Doses were 500 mg/m2 fluorouracil, 500 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide, and 50 mg/m2 epirubicin2 or 10 mg/m mitoxantrone, i.v. Day 1 every 3 weeks. There were no statistically significant differences in pretreatment patient characteristics between the groups. Fifty-six patients were evaluable for response (29 in the FEC arm and 27 in the FNC arm). The response rates were 48.2% for the FEC group (complete response (CR) 10.3% and partial response (PR) 37.9% and 40.7% for the FNC group (CR 3.7% and PR 37% (not significantly different, NS). The median response duration was 247 and 267 days, respectively (NS), the median time to progression and time to treatment failure was 244 and 155.5 days for the FEC group and 86 and 98 days for the FNC group, respectively (NS). The incidence of nausea/vomiting was 87.1% in the FEC group and 79.3% in the FNC group, with comparable severity. Alopecia occurred in 80.6% of FEC patients and 44.8% of FNC patients (p <0.05). The incidences and degrees of severity of leukopenia, anemia, and cardiotoxicity were comparable in the two treatment groups. Efficacy and toxicity of the two regimens were quite similar. FNC can improve the quality of life of patients by providing significantly less alopecia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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