Kevin Fox, MD
Last Modified: January 6, 2002
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am 48 years old and have been diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast, Stage 2B, ERPR negative. My oncologist feels that I need 4 rounds of AC chemo followed by 12 rounds of Taxotere followed by radiation. I went for a second opinion. That Doctor said I need 4 rounds of AC followed by radiation. He explained that Taxotere is not a drug that would benefit me, nor would Taxol. I gave this info to my oncologist here at home and he is insisting that I need the Taxotere.
What should I believe? Can you help?
Kevin Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
There is some general disagreement as to the effectiveness of the drugs Taxol and Taxotere as part of chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer. Results from clinical trials have been mixed.
Although I have not reviewed the pathology and it is beyond the scope of this service to give medical advice, assuming the limited clinical information given here is correct, I would generally agree with the patient's first opinion. We tend to treat patients like this with Taxol or Taxotere depending on the preferences and experience of the treating doctor.