Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Taxanes Alone Or In Combination With Anthracyclines As First-Line Therapy Of Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Martine J. Piccart-Gebhart, Tomasz Burzykowski, Marc Buyse, George Sledge, James Carmichael, Hans-Joachim Lück, John R. Mackey, Jean-Marc Nabholtz, Robert Paridaens, Laura Biganzoli, Jacek Jassem, Marijke Bontenbal, Jacques Bonneterre, Stephen Chan, Gul Atalay Basaran, Patrick Therasse

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
Purpose Taxanes (paclitaxel or docetaxel) have been sequenced or combined with anthracyclines (doxorubicin or epirubicin) for the first-line treatment of advanced breast cancer. This meta-analysis uses data from all relevant trials to detect any advantages of taxanes in terms of tumor response, progression-free survival (PFS), and survival. Patients and Methods Individual patient data were collected on eight randomized combination trials comparing anthracyclines + taxanes (+ cyclophosphamide in one trial) with anthracyclines + cyclophosphamide (+ fluorouracil in four trials), and on three single-agent trials comparing taxanes with anthracyclines. Combination trials included 3,034 patients; single-agent trials included 919 patients. Results Median follow-up of living patients was 43 months, median survival was 19.3 months, and median PFS was 7.1 months. In single-agent trials, response rates were similar in the taxanes (38%) and in the anthracyclines (33%) arms (P = .08). The hazard ratios for taxanes compared with anthracyclines were 1.19 (95% CI, 1.04 to 1.36; P = .011) for PFS and 1.01 (95% CI, 0.88 to 1.16; P = .90) for survival. In combination trials, response rates were 57% (10% complete) in taxane-based combinations and 46% (6% complete) in control arms (P < .001). The hazard ratios for taxane-based combinations compared with control arms were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85 to 0.99; P = .031) for PFS and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.88 to 1.03; P = .24) for survival. Conclusion Taxanes were significantly worse than single-agent anthracyclines in terms of PFS, but not in terms of response rates or survival. Taxane-based combinations were significantly better than anthracycline-based combinations in terms of response rates and PFS, but not in terms of survival.