Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Survival Benefit of Intense Dose-Dense Chemotherapy in High-Risk Breast Cancer

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018

In patients with high-risk breast cancer, intense dose-dense chemotherapy may extend the survival rate by 10%, even after 10 years of follow-up. Reporting on the final results of a phase III trial in Annals of Oncology, Volker J. Möbus, MD, of the Academic Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, found that the 10-year overall survival rate of the group receiving intense dose-dense chemotherapy was 69% compared with 59% of the conventionally dosed group.

This trial included 1,248 patients with breast cancer who had four or more involved axillary lymph nodes. They were randomized to receive three courses of the intense dose-dense sequence of epirubicin, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide or the standard epirubicin/cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel. There were 658 patients who received the intense dose-dense chemotherapy and 626 patients who received the standard treatment.

“Dose-dense, intense dose-dense regimens, or tailored dose-dense regimens have shown superior clinical outcomes when compared with conventionally dosed chemotherapy,” wrote the study authors. “However, clinical follow-up has been relatively short in these studies, and long-term clinical outcome data are missing.” This study hoped to provide that missing data and was able to show that the previously reported survival benefit of intense dose-dense chemotherapy is still achieved after 10 years.

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