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Oncology (Williston Park). 1997 Aug;11(8 Suppl 8):15-8.

Docetaxel as neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage III breast cancer.

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  • 1Breast Medical Oncology Multidisciplinary Program, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Optimal management of locally advanced breast cancer (stage III) generally includes a combination of primary chemotherapy followed by surgery (if feasible), and local radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy with or without hormonal therapy. An ongoing phase II study is being performed to evaluate the use of 4 cycles of 100 mg/m2 of docetaxel (Taxotere) administered as a 1-hour intravenous infusion once every 3 weeks followed by surgery, 4 cycles of standard-dose doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) chemotherapy, and radiation, with and without tamoxifen (Nolvadex) in patients with locally advanced breast cancer. Preliminary results from 33 patients included in this phase II study are reported here. A partial response was achieved in 22 patients (67%), with 6 patients (18%) experiencing a complete response with this regimen. One patient with a complete response was confirmed to have a complete pathologic response at the time of surgery. Febrile neutropenia was noted in 8 patients (24%) and in 8 of the 120 treatment cycles (7%) administered. Future trials aimed at increasing the number of pathologic complete responses in patients with stage III breast cancer may require the use of docetaxel in combination with other active agents or the use of dose-dense scheduling schemes.

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