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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jul;134(1):371-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-012-2037-1. Epub 2012 Mar 31.

Similar survival with single-agent capecitabine or taxane in first-line therapy for metastatic breast cancer.

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Multidisciplinary Breast Program, Division of Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3841, 10 Bryan Searle Drive, 441 Seeley G. Mudd Building, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Capecitabine is often offered as a first-line chemotherapy option for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). In this study, we compare characteristics of and survival among women prescribed first-line capecitabine or taxane monotherapy for MBC. Women receiving first-line chemotherapy for MBC from 1998 to 2005 were identified from the North Carolina tumor registry linked with Medicaid and Medicare claims records, and were followed through the end of 2005 with survival data from the National Death Index. T Tests and Chi-square tests were used to compare baseline characteristics. Overall survival and cancer-specific survival were examined using Cox proportional hazard modeling. There were 257 patients with MBC starting first-line chemotherapy with capecitabine (n=71) or a taxane (n=186). No differences in age, race, or Charlson comorbidity status were observed between groups. Hormone receptor negative tumors (31.0 vs. 17.7%, p=0.02) and patients insured by Medicaid (28 vs. 12%, p=0.002) were more prevalent in the capecitabine group. Time from metastasis to first-line chemotherapy was longer in the capecitabine group (52 vs. 26% began after 3 months, p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, treatment received was not associated with overall or cancer-specific survival. Among standard demographics, age was the only factor significantly associated with overall survival (HR 1.02, p=04). In this population-based study, women who received capecitabine as first-line treatment for MBC were more often hormone receptor negative and insured by Medicaid. In multivariate analysis, first-line capecitabine and taxane for MBC yielded similar overall and cancer-specific survival outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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