Paclitaxel activity in anthracycline refractory breast cancer patients

Patrizia Vici, Luigi Di Lauro, Francesca Conti, Elisabetta Capomolla, Tommaso Gionfra, Antonella Amodio, Massimo Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: We investigated the efficacy and tolerability of two doses of paclitaxel, 175 mg/m2 and 135 mg/m2, over a 3-hr infusion, without prophylactic G-CSF, in heavily pretreated patients with anthracycline-resistant breast cancer. Although paclitaxel may share with anthracyclines a common mechanism of drug resistance, there is evidence that the two drugs are not completely cross resistant. Methods: From July 1994 to January 1996, 42 patients were treated every 3 weeks, for a maximum of 6 cycles; paclitaxel dose was established according to pretreatment extension. Results: In 41 assessable patients we observed 9 partial responses, for an overall response rate of 22% (95% CI, 10-34%). There was no difference in response rate between the two dose levels. Median duration of response was 9 months, median time to progression 5 months, and median survival 9 months. The dose-limiting toxicity was neutropenia, which was grade 3-4 in 40% (135 mg/m2) and 62% (175 mg/m2) of the patients (P = 0.28); neutropenic fever occurred in 24% of the patients, without significant differences between the two dose levels. Other toxicity was mild to moderate. Conclusions: Paclitaxel at doses of 175 mg/m2 or 135 mg/m2 is active and well tolerated in advanced breast cancer patients resistant to anthracyclines. The prophylactic use of colony-stimulating factors seems appropriate in heavily pretreated patients given the higher dose level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-664
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • anthracycline-resistance
  • paclitaxel
  • pretreated breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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