Paclitaxel versus doxorubicin as first-line single agent chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer: a European organization for research and treatment of cancer randomized study with cross-over
Paridaens, Robert × Biganzoli, L. Bruning, P. Klijn, J.G.M. Gamucci, T. Houston, S. Coleman, R. Schachter, J. Van Vreckem, A. Sylvester, R. Awada, A. Wildiers, J. Piccart, M. #
Grune & Stratton
Journal of Clinical Oncology vol:18 pages:724-733
PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy of paclitaxel versus doxorubicin given as single agents in first-line therapy of advanced breast cancer (primary end point, progression-free survival ¿PFS) and to explore the degree of cross-resistance between the two agents.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three hundred thirty-one patients were randomized to receive either paclitaxel 200 mg/m(2), 3-hour infusion every 3 weeks, or doxorubicin 75 mg/m(2), intravenous bolus every 3 weeks. Seven courses were planned unless progression or unacceptable toxicity occurred before the seven courses were finished. Patients who progressed within the seven courses underwent early cross-over to the alternative drug, while a delayed cross-over was optional for the remainder of patients at the time of disease progression.
RESULTS: Objective response in first-line therapy was significantly better (P =.003) for doxorubicin (response rate ¿RR, 41%) than for paclitaxel (RR, 25%), with doxorubicin achieving a longer median PFS (7.5 months for doxorubicin v 3.9 months for paclitaxel, P <.001). In second-line therapy, cross-over to doxorubicin (91 patients) and to paclitaxel (77 patients) gave response rates of 30% and 16%, respectively. The median survival durations of 18.3 months for doxorubicin and 15.6 months for paclitaxel were not significantly different (P =.38). The doxorubicin arm had greater toxicity, but this was counterbalanced by better symptom control.
CONCLUSION: At the dosages and schedules used in the present study, doxorubicin achieves better disease and symptom control than paclitaxel in first-line treatment. Doxorubicin and paclitaxel are not totally cross-resistant, which supports further investigation of these drugs in combination or in sequence, both in advanced disease and in the adjuvant setting.