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Irinotecan combined with docetaxel in pre-treated metastatic breast cancer patients: a phase II study



Purpose : This is a phase II study where a novel chemotherapy combination was tested in pre-treated breast cancer patients: docetaxel and irinotecan have already been established as agents for breast and colorectal cancer, respectively. Methods : Forty-eight (median age 54 years, range 26–77 year) patients, all evaluable, were enrolled. All patients had been pre-treated with anthracycline-combined chemotherapy, 30 of whom were also treated with paclitaxel and 2 with docetaxel. World Health Organization (WHO) performance status was 0–2. The dominant metastasis was in the liver (54.17%), in the lungs (27.08%), in soft tissues (12.50%) and in the skeleton (6.25%). Treatment involved irinotecan infusion 200 mg/m 2 for 90 min and docetaxel infusion 80 mg/m 2 for 90 min, repeated once every 3 weeks. Results : Twenty-five (52.08%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 37.95–66.21) patients showed responses: 3 complete (6.25%, 95% CI 0–13.05) and 22 (45.83%, 95% CI 31.74–59.92) partial; the most responsive metastases were observed at the liver site (53.85%). Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia was observed in 18 patients (37.50%); 14 (29.17%) patients developed anaemia and three (6.25%), thrombocytopenia. Concerning non-haematologic toxicity, alopecia and fatigue were common; grade 3 diarrhea was observed in only one (2.08%) patient. Conclusion : The irinotecan-docetaxel combination produces quite a high response rate in pre-treated advanced breast cancer patients.



Cancer Chemotherapy and PharmacologySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 1, 2005

DOI: 10.1007/s00280-005-1006-3

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