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Ann Oncol. 2009 Jul;20(7):1185-92. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn748. Epub 2009 Feb 13.

Preoperative weekly cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel with G-CSF support in triple-negative large operable breast cancer.

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Department of Senology, Unit of Preoperative Treatments, National Cancer Institute of Naples, Naples, Italy.



Findings from our previously published phase II study showed a high pathologic complete remission (pCR) rate in patients with triple-negative large operable breast cancer after the administration of eight cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel (PET) weekly cycles. The safety and efficacy data of the initial population were updated, with inclusion of additional experience with the same therapy.


Patients with triple-negative large operable breast cancer (T2-T3 N0-1; T > 3 cm) received eight preoperative weekly cycles of cisplatin 30 mg/m2, epirubicin 50 mg/m2, paclitaxel (Taxol) 120 mg/m2, with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (5 microg/kg days 3-5) support.


Overall 74 consecutive patients (T2/T3 = 35/39; N0/N+ = 26/48) were treated, from May 1999 to May 2008. At pathological assessment, 46 women (62%; 95% confidence interval 50-73) showed pCR in both breast and axilla. At a 41-month median follow-up (range 3-119), 13 events (nine distant metastases) had occurred, 5-year projected disease-free survival (DFS) and distant disease-free survival being 76% and 84%, respectively. Five-year DFS was 90% and 56% in pCRs and non-pCRs, respectively. Severe neutropenia and anemia occurred in 23 (31%) and eight (10.8%) patients, respectively. Severe non-hematological toxicity was recorded in <20% of patients. Peripheral neuropathy was quite frequent but never severe.


Eight weekly PET cycles are a highly effective primary treatment in women with triple-negative large operable breast cancer. This approach results in a very promising long-term DFS in this poor prognosis population. This triplet regimen is worthy of evaluation in phase III trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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