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Weekly Paclitaxel in Women with Heavily Pretreated Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis of Cases Treated at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital

Author(s): Chang-Hsien Lu | Yung-Chang Lin | Hsien-Kun Chang

Journal: Chang Gung Medical Journal
ISSN 2072-0939

Volume: 30;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: breast cancer | metastases | chemotherapy | paclitaxel

Background: Taxane is one of the most effective drugs used for advanced metastatic breastcancer treatment. Conventional 3-weekly regimens are widely used with significanttreatment related toxicity. Recently, weekly schedules of taxane werereported to be effective and well tolerated in this patient group. We retrospectivelyevaluated the efficacy of weekly paclitaxel in women withmetastatic breast cancer.Methods: Between December 1999 and June 2004, a total of twenty-three patients withhistologically confirmed and measurable pretreated metastatic breast cancerwere included. The median age was 55 years (range 33~73). Their performancestatus was ECOG ≤ 2. All patients had received at least one regimenfor metastatic disease. Paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 was administered weekly for 3weeks per 4-week cycle. WHO response criteria was used as the reference toevaluate the response to treatment.Results: The response and survival of all patients were assessed. All had prior anthracycline-based chemotherapy; 14 patients (61%) had at least 3 differentchemotherapy lines before this regimen. Twenty patients (87%) had at least 2metastatic sites and 18 (78.3%) had visceral metastasis. The overall responserate was 21.7% with no complete response, while 43.5% had stable disease.The median time to progression was 121 days. Four patients (17.4%) weretreated with a trastuzumab-paclitaxel combination, and 2 of them responded.The therapy was well tolerated and there were no grade III/IV toxicitiesobserved. Only 1 patient (4.35%) dropped out because of heart failure.Conclusions:Weekly paclitaxel was well tolerated and the response rate was comparableto that previously reported in heavily pretreated patients with metastaticbreast cancer. Weekly paclitaxel in combination with other agents is worthyof further investigation.
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