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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Jun;15(6):2312-21.

Efficacy, toxicity, and applicability of high-dose sequential chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment in operable breast cancer with 10 or more involved axillary nodes: five-year results.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

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 > or = 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 an effective and applicable regimen, whose major toxicity was occasional. Final assessment of its value in a randomized, multicenter trial is presently underway.

PMID:
9196145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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