Reduces recurrence risk versus fluorouracil in high-risk, node-negative disease

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/02/2010)

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The taxane drug docetaxel, known to be superior to fluorouracil when given with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (TAC and FAC) for node-positive breast cancer, is also superior when used in this combination for high-risk, node-negative breast cancer, according to research published in the Dec. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Miguel Martin, M.D., of Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,060 women with axillary-node-negative breast cancer and one or more high-risk factors for recurrence. The women were randomized to treatment with either TAC or FAC for six cycles after surgery.

The researchers found that the women in the TAC group had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of recurrence compared to the women in the FAC group, and 24 percent higher overall survival; the latter did not reach statistical significance. The risk reductions remained even when adjusted for hormone receptor status and other high-risk factors. Adverse events were also significantly higher with TAC, but toxicity was attenuated when granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was administered prophylactically.

"Taken together, our findings and the results of the BCIRG 001 trial show that TAC is effective both in patients with node-positive and in those with high-risk, node-negative early-stage breast cancer," the authors write.

Sanofi-Aventis provided funding for the molecular studies used in this research; several authors disclosed financial relationships with Sanofi-Aventis, including employment.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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