Docetaxel Appears to Be Effective in Liver Metastases

Oncology NEWS International Vol 4 No 4, Volume 4, Issue 4

SAN ANTONIO--Use of docetaxel (Taxotere) as palliative treatment of advanced breast cancer produced durable responses in almost 70% of patients, including three fourths of those with liver metastases, French researchers said at a

SAN ANTONIO--Use of docetaxel (Taxotere) as palliative treatmentof advanced breast cancer produced durable responses in almost70% of patients, including three fourths of those with liver metastases,French researchers said at a poster session of the San AntonioBreast Cancer Symposium.

In another poster presentation, investigators from San Antonioreported a 57% response rate in patients with advanced breastcancer that had proven resistant to treatment with doxorubicinor mitoxantrone (Novantrone).

Bernard Chevallier, MD, described a study in which a 100 mg/m²docetaxel dose every 3 weeks led to significant responses in 21(68%) of 31 advanced breast cancer patients, including 12 of 16with liver metastases. The response rate for liver metastasesis the highest yet reported for such an application of monotherapy,said Dr. Chevallier, medical oncologist, Centre Henri Becquerel,Rouen, France.

Breast cancer patients with liver metastases generally have apoor prognosis with currently available chemotherapeutic regimens,Dr. Chevallier noted. In preliminary clinical evaluations, docetaxelhas shown antitumor activity against liver and lung metastasesin heavily pretreated breast cancer patients, he said.

Of the 31 patients in the study, 11 had previously received chemotherapy,and 10 of the 11 had been treated with an anthracycline. Patientsreceived a median of five cycles of docetaxel therapy. The mediancumulative dose was 489 mg, and median dose intensity was 97%.

Median Survival of 23 Months

Overall, 16 patients had partial responses, and five had completeresponses. Among previously treated patients, five of 11 had partialresponses, and two had complete responses. The median durationof response was 44 weeks, and median survival was 23 months.

Among the 16 patients with liver metastases, 10 had a partialresponse and two had a complete response. The duration of responseranged from 10 to 99 weeks, and the median patient survival was23 months.

Peter M. Ravdin, MD, reported that docetaxel at the same 100 mg/m²dose (given every 3 weeks, with a median of five cycles administered)produced a 57% response rate in advanced breast cancer patientsresistant to doxorubicin or mitoxantrone.

"When first-line therapies fail in patients with advancedbreast cancer, there are few effective therapeutic options available,"said Dr. Ravdin, medical oncologist, Cancer Therapy and ResearchCenter, and associate professor of medicine, University of TexasHealth Science Center at San Antonio.

"Taxotere has shown the highest antitumor activity ever seenat our institution in this patient population," Dr. Ravdinsaid.

Of 35 evaluable patients in the study, three had a complete response,while 17 had a partial response. The median duration of responsewas 25 weeks, with responses seen in the lung, liver, chest wall,and soft tissues.

Side effects included neutropenia and edema, Dr. Ravdin said,but edema decreased when dexamethasone premedication was addedto the protocol.