SAN ANTONIO--First-line chemotherapy with docetaxel (Taxotere)
produced response rates as high as 68% in a series of studies
involving patients with advanced, metastatic breast cancer.
Two evaluations of a 100 mg/m² dose of docetaxel resulted
in identical 68% response rates in a total of 68 patients. The
response rate dropped to 52% in an evaluation of a 75 mg/m²
dose, Dr. Pierre Kerbrat reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer
The three studies were conducted by the European Organization
for Research and Treatment in Cancer (EORTC) Clinical Study Group
(CSG). Collectively, the studies enrolled 110 patients, 99 of
whom were evaluable for responses.
All patients had measurable metas-tases, and about a third had
metastatic involvement of at least two organs, said Dr. Kerbrat,
a medical oncologist at the Eugene Marquis Center, Rennes, France.
None of the patients had received primary chemotherapy, but more
than half had received prior adjuvant chemotherapy.
The first trial, CSG1, included 31 evaluable patients treated
with the higher dose of docetaxel every 3 weeks; CSG3 evaluated
37 patients who received the higher dose preceded by 1 day by
pre-medication with corticosteroids and histamine antagonists.
The second trial, CSG2, evaluated the lower docetaxel dose in
31 patients. No patient in any of the three groups received growth
The 68% overall response rate in the 100 mg/m² groups included
five complete responders in CSG1 and two in CSG3. Four patients
had complete responses in CSG2. Major responses were seen in 70%
to 75% of patients with visceral and liver metastases in the high-dose
studies, compared with 52% and 44% in the 75 mg/m² group.
The median duration of response was 44 weeks in CSG1 and 34 weeks
in CSG2. Median response duration has not been reached in CSG3
but has ranged between 9 and 36 weeks, Dr. Kerbrat said.