Purpose: To assess the efficacy, toxicity, and applicability of high- dose therapy administered as adjuvant initial treatment to women with breast cancer with extensive nodal involvement. Patients and Methods: Sixty-seven patients with stage II to III breast cancer involving ≤ 10 axillary nodes received a novel high-dose sequential (HDS) regimen, including the high-dose administration of three non-cross-resistant drugs (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and melphalan) given within the shortest interval of time as possible with hematologic and nonhematologic toxicity. Results: Sixty-three patients completed the program as planned, one patient died of acute toxicity, and three patients were switched to standard-dose adjuvant therapy. After a median follow-up duration of 48.5 months and a lead follow-up of 78 months, actuarial relapse-free survival for all 67 registered patients is 57% and overall survival is 70%, respectively. Comparison with a historical control group of 58 consecutive patients showed a significantly superior rate of freedom from relapse for the HDS-treated group (57% v 41%, respectively), in particular when two subgroups of patients, more homogeneous for their number of involved nodes, were compared (65% v 42%). Overall, treatment was of short duration (median, 70 days), required a median of 32 days of hospital stay, and was associated with only a few severe side effects (the most distressing being oral mucositis after melphalan therapy). Conclusion: HDS therapy emerges as on effective and applicable regimen, whose major toxicity was occasional. Final assessment of its value in a randomized, multicenter trial is presently underway.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research