Phase III trial evaluating the addition of paclitaxel to doxorubicin followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil, as adjuvant or primary systemic therapy: European cooperative trial in operable breast cancer

Luca Gianni, José Baselga, Wolfgang Eiermann, Vincente Guillem Porta, Vladimir Semiglazov, Aňa Lluch, Milvia Zambetti, Dolores Sabadell, Günther Raab, Antonio Llombart Cussac, Alla Bozhok, Angel Martinez-Agulló, Marco Greco, Mikhail Byakhov, Juan Josè Lopez Lopez, Mauro Mansutti, Pinuccia Valagussa, Gianni Bonadonna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the addition of paclitaxel to an anthracycline-based adjuvant regimen and to compare this combination with the same regimen given as primary systemic (neoadjuvant) therapy. Patients and Methods: A total of 1,355 women with operable breast cancer were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: surgery followed by adjuvant doxorubicin (75 mg/m2) followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF; arm A); surgery followed by adjuvant paclitaxel (200 mg/m2) plus doxorubicin (60 mg/m2), followed by CMF (arm B); or paclitaxel (200 mg/m 2) plus doxorubicin (60 mg/m2) followed by CMF followed by surgery (arm C). The two coprimary objectives were to assess the effects on relapse-free survival (RFS) of the addition of paclitaxel to postoperative chemotherapy (arm B v arm A) and primary chemotherapy versus adjuvant chemotherapy (arm B v arm C). Results: Doxorubicin plus paclitaxel followed by CMF was well-tolerated as adjuvant or as primary chemotherapy. The addition of paclitaxel to adjuvant doxorubicin followed by CMF significantly improved RFS compared with adjuvant doxorubicin alone followed by CMF (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; P = .03). Distant RFS was similarly improved (HR, 0.70; P = .027). There was no significant difference in RFS when the paclitaxel/doxorubicin/CMF chemotherapy was given before surgery compared with the same regimen given after surgery (HR, 1.21; P = .18). However, the rate of breast-conserving surgery was significantly higher with preoperative chemotherapy (63% v 34%; P <.001). Conclusion: Incorporating paclitaxel into anthracycline-based adjuvant therapy resulted in a significant improvement in RFS and distant RFS. When given as primary systemic therapy, the paclitaxel-containing regimen allowed breast-sparing surgery in a significant percentage of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2474-2481
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume27
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)

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