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Effects on quality of life of weekly docetaxel-based chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer: results of a single-centre randomized phase 3 trial.

Author(s): Nuzzo F, Morabito A, Gravina A, Di Rella F, Landi G, Pacilio C, Labonia V, Rossi E, De Maio E, Piccirillo MC, D'Aiuto G, Thomas R, Rinaldo M, Botti G, Di Bonito M, Di Maio M, Gallo C, Perrone F, de Matteis A

Affiliation(s): National Cancer Institute, via M, Semmola, 80131 Napoli, Italy.

Publication date & source: 2011-02-16, BMC Cancer., 11:75.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase III; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: To evaluate whether weekly schedules of docetaxel-based chemotherapy were superior to 3-weekly ones in terms of quality of life in locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. METHODS: Patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, aged </= 70 years, performance status 0-2, chemotherapy-naive for metastatic disease, were eligible. They were randomized to weekly or 3-weekly combination of docetaxel and epirubicin, if they were not treated with adjuvant anthracyclines, or docetaxel and capecitabine, if treated with adjuvant anthracyclines. Primary end-point was global quality of life change at 6-weeks, measured by EORTC QLQ-C30. With two-sided alpha 0.05 and 80% power for 35% effect size, 130 patients per arm were needed. RESULTS: From February 2004 to March 2008, 139 patients were randomized, 70 to weekly and 69 to 3-weekly arm; 129 and 89 patients filled baseline and 6-week questionnaires, respectively. Global quality of life was better in the 3-weekly arm (p = 0.03); patients treated with weekly schedules presented a significantly worsening in role functioning and financial scores (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001). Neutropenia and stomatitis were worse in the 3-weekly arm, where two toxic deaths were observed. Overall response rate was 39.1% and 33.3% in 3-weekly and weekly arms; hazard ratio of progression was 1.29 (95% CI: 0.84-1.97) and hazard ratio of death was 1.38 (95% CI: 0.82-2.30) in the weekly arm. CONCLUSIONS: In this trial, the weekly schedules of docetaxel-based chemotherapy appear to be inferior to the 3-weekly one in terms of quality of life in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00540800.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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