Preoperative therapy with epidoxorubicin and docetaxel plus trastuzumab in patients with primary breast cancer: a pilot study

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Abstract

Purpose

Combining anthracyclines and taxanes are to date the most active cytotoxic treatment option in the neoadjuvant and palliative therapy of breast cancer patients. Adding trastuzumab to these cytotoxic agents can improve outcome for women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing advanced breast cancer. We conducted a pilot study of preoperative epidoxorubicin and docetaxel plus trastuzumab in outpatient patients suffering from breast cancer.

Patients and methods

Fourteen consecutive patients were enrolled in this prospective clinical pilot trial. Preoperative treatment consisted of weekly trastuzumab (4 mg/kg body-weight loading dose, 2 mg/kg/week maintenance dose), in combination with weekly epidoxorubicin (30 mg/m2 body surface area [BSA]) and docetaxel (35 mg/m2 BSA) once a week for 6 weeks followed by 1 week off therapy.

Results

Patients received a total of 30 cycles (median: 2 cycles, range: 2-3 cycles) of this therapeutic regimen. Outpatient epidoxorubicin and docetaxel plus trastuzumab were well tolerated. A major response to this preoperative therapy regimen could be demonstrated in 12 of 14 patients (86%) leading to breast-conserving surgery in 11 of 14 patients (79%).

Conclusions

We conclude that outpatient epidoxorubicin and docetaxel plus trastuzumab are safe in the neoadjuvant treatment of patients suffering from breast cancer, based on a favorable side-effect and activity profile. Thus, this regimen can be considered for further clinical trials.

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