DUARTE, CalifResearchers at the City of Hope National Medical Center
are in the process of updating their high-dose chemotherapy regimens for
high-risk breast cancer patients to include paclitaxel (Taxol), George
Somlo, MD, said in a poster presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer
The researchers are conducting a phase I study to define the maximum-tolerated
dose of a regimen of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and paclitaxel with
stem cell support. Paclitaxel has been shown to be more effective than
etoposide, which it replaces, Dr. Somlo said.
The regimen consists of 96 hours of continuous infusion doxorubicin
at 165 mg/m², followed by cyclophosphamide at 100 mg/kg, followed
by a 24-hour infusion of paclitaxel in a dose-escalating scheme.
The investigators are nearing the sixth dose level of paclitaxel. "We
are presently accruing patients at 525 mg/m² of Taxol as continuous
infusion," Dr. Somlo said in an interview.
So far, side effects have been tolerable. "The main side effect
is mucositis, which is not more pronounced than what we have seen with
our previous regimens," Dr. Somlo said, "although it does require
both IV narcotics and nutritional support in the majority of patients."
To date, the researchers have enrolled 21 patients, and the study is
ongoing at an accrual rate of about three patients per month. Eligible
patients are those with high-risk breast cancer (stage II with 10 or more
involved lymph nodes, or stage IIIA and IIIB) or those with responsive
stage IV breast cancer.
"It is obviously too early to say anything about the results,"
Dr. Somlo noted.