Should we continue to study high-dose chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients? A critical review of the published data

A. Tartarone, G. Romano, R. Galasso, G. Iodice, G. D'Arena, M. Coccaro, A. Bochicchio, A. Sgambato, N. Di Renzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Data from eight randomised trials on high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) have been published, but only seven studies are evaluable after the Bezwoda trial was discredited. Moreover, overall survival (OS) has been evaluated in only four out of seven studies since three had a crossover design. OS was similar for the HDC and standard-dose chemotherapy (SDC) group in the four evaluable trials, while disease-free survival (DFS) was improved in the HDC group in six of the seven trials. The delay in relapse for patients with metastatic disease represents an important clinical outcome; furthermore, since none of the reported studies randomised more than 220 patients, their statistical power may have been too limited to detect meaningful survival differences. Finally, preliminary experiences have shown that HDC seems to be the ideal platform upon which to build novel therapies. In conclusion, HDC remains an important field of clinical research for breast cancer patients with stage IV disease and, from the studies reported in this article, there is some evidence for offering this therapeutic modality to selected patients who are interested in a medically aggressive approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

Keywords

  • High-dose chemotherapy
  • Metastatic breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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