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Cancer. 2010 Feb 15;116(4):814-21. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24870.

A randomized phase 2 trial comparing 3-hour versus 96-hour infusion schedules of paclitaxel for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

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Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, PO Box 301438, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



This study was performed to compare efficacy and toxicity profiles of paclitaxel using 3-hour versus 96-hour infusion schedules.


Patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel starting at a dose of 250 mg/m(2) intravenously (iv) over 3 hours every 21 days or paclitaxel starting at a dose of 140 mg/m(2) iv over 96 hours every 21 days. Stratification variables included number of prior chemotherapy regimens and previous response to anthracyclines. Response was assessed every 2 cycles using bidimensional measurements. Patients were allowed to cross over at disease progression or therapy intolerance.


A total of 214 patients received therapy (107 patients per arm). Response rates were similar: 23.4% in the 3-hour arm and 29.9% in the 96-hour arm (P = .28). The median duration of response (8.9 months vs 5.7 months; P = .75) and progression-free survival (5.0 months vs 3.8 months; P = .17) slightly favored the 96-hour arm. Overall survival was slightly longer in the 3-hour arm (14.2 months vs 12.7 months; P = .57). One patient who crossed over to the 96-hour arm (N = 18) developed a partial response; no response was noted with crossover to the 3-hour arm (N = 10). Myalgia/arthralgia and neuropathy were more frequent in the 3-hour arm, whereas mucositis, neutropenic fever/infection, and diarrhea were more common in the 96-hour arm.


Paclitaxel given by 3-hour or 96-hour infusion was active in MBC. The 96-hour paclitaxel regimen did not significantly improve response or time to disease progression, was more cumbersome to administer, and was associated with greater myelosuppression (but less neuropathy and myalgia) compared with the 3-hour schedule.

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