Identification of the highest dose of docetaxel associable with active doses of epirubicin. Results from a dose-finding study in advanced breast cancer patients

M. Venturini, A. Michelotti, P. Papaldo, L. Del Mastro, M. Bergaglio, R. Lionetto, G. Lunardi, C. Sguotti, L. Frevola, S. Donati, R. Rosso, F. Cognetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose limiting toxicity (DLT) of docetaxel in combination with fixed doses of epirubicin. Patients and methods: Women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer were given docetaxel, 60 mg/m2 in escalated doses by steps of 10 mg/m2, in association with two fixed doses of epirubicin (90 mg/m2, and 75 mg/m2). Since neutropenia was foreseen to be the most likely DLT, a third group with prophylactic G-CSF support was planned to define the MTD of docetaxel with 90 mg/m2 of epirubicin. Selected patients underwent pharmacokinetic evaluation of docetaxel. Results: Fifty-eight patients entered the study. At the first step (90 mg/m2 of epirubicin) the MTD was obtained at 60 mg/m2 of docetaxel. At the second step (75 mg/m2 of epirubicin) the MTD of docetaxel was 80 mg/m2. At the third step (epirubicin 90 mg/m2) G-CSF allowed a safe escalation of docetaxel up to 90 mg/m2. Neutropenia was the most common hematological adverse event. Without G-CSF, grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 69% of cycles, of which 11% was complicated by fever. In G-CSF group, grade 4 neutropenia and neutropenic fever occurred in 31% and 3%, respectively. Most frequent non-hematological adverse effects were asthenia (45%), nausea (39%) and mucositis (36%). No patient developed congestive heart failure. Two toxic deaths occurred. Overall response rate was 73% in 42 out of 58 patients, with no apparent epirubicin dose-related effect. No statistically significant effect of the two doses of epirubicin was observed in docetaxel pharmacokinetics. Conclusions: On the basis of the toxicity profile, the docetaxel pharmacokinetics and the response rate observed, epirubicin 75 mg/m2 combined with docetaxel 80 mg/m2 can be recommended for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1106
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Docetaxel
  • Epirubicin
  • Phase I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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