Higher Doses of Paclitaxel Fail to Improve Survival Rates in Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
Last Modified: May 18, 1998

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Each year approximately 45,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. New research demonstrates that higher doses of Paclitaxel (Taxol) are not necessarily more effective in patients with advanced breast cancers, and that patients can be spared the increased toxicities associated with high doses.

This study of 475 women with metastatic breast cancer found that higher-than-standard doses of Paclitaxel, one of the standard therapies for treating women with advanced breast cancer, does not improve survival, and that the drug's efficacy actually declined at higher doses (28% tumor response rate at a moderate dose, but only 22% at a higher dose). This finding is particularly relevant given the trend in recent years to increase the dose of chemotherapy agents with the presumption that they will be more active, a hypothesis that had not yet been fully tested.

[ Original Abstract ]

Tamoxifen Recommended to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Feb 27, 2015 - Tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women, according to updated guidelines published online May 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study in the same issue, weekly treatment of metastatic breast cancer with an albumin-bound form of paclitaxel improves survival compared with docetaxel.

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