Taxotere ®/Carboplatin Effective for Anthracycline-Resistant Advanced Breast Cancer

Taxotere ®/Carboplatin Effective for Anthracycline-Resistant Advanced Breast Cancer

According to a recent article published in Oncology, the chemotherapy combination consisting of Taxotere ® (docetaxel) and Paraplatin ® (carboplatin) appears promising for the treatment of anthracycline-resistant metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer refers to breast cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body, often invading vital organs such as the liver, lungs and/or bones. Often, these patients are treated with an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen. Anthracyclines are a class of chemotherapy agents that are highly active in breast cancer and include doxorubicin (Adriamycin ®) and epirubicin (Ellence ®). However, some patients do not respond to initial therapy with anthracyclines or stop responding to anthracyclines following repeated cycles. Patients resistant to anthracyclines have options including several chemotherapy agents that provide anti-cancer responses and researchers are comparing different therapies to determine optimal regimens.

Researchers from Greece recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the chemotherapy combination of Taxotere(R) and Paraplatin(R) (carboplatin) as treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Taxotere(R) is a chemotherapy agent that has demonstrated significant anti-cancer activity in a variety of cancers, including breast cancer. This trial included 36 women who had either stopped responding to previous therapy with an anthracycline or had not responded to initial therapy containing an anthracycline. Patients received Taxotere(R)/Paraplatin(R) every 3 weeks on an outpatient basis. Anti-cancer responses were achieved in 61% of patients. Of the 18 patients who had cancer progression or disease stabilization only following initial therapy, 44% achieved a reduction in their cancer following treatment with Taxotere(R)/Paraplatin(R). The average time to cancer progression was 10 months. At one year, survival was 66%. The most common side effect was neutropenia (low white cell blood levels) which occurred in 45% of patients.

The researchers concluded that Taxotere ®/Paraplatin ® is an active regimen in patients with metastatic breast cancer who are resistant to anthracycline-based therapy. Furthermore, patients can receive this regimen on an outpatient basis. Patients with anthracycline-resistant advanced breast cancer may wish to speak with their physician about the risks and benefits of Taxotere ®/Paraplatin ® or the participation in a clinical trial evaluating other therapeutic options. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute ( cancer.gov) and www.eCancerTrials.com. eCancerTrials.com also provides personalized clinical trial searches on behalf of patients.

Reference: Mavroudis D, Alexopoulos A, Malamos N, et al. Salvage treatment of metastatic breast cancer with docetaxel and carboplatina multicenter phase II trial. Oncology. International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment. 2003;63:207-212.

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