December 24, 2008

Breast Cancer Treatment Comparison

Nonhormonal chemotherapy treatment regimens, including anthracycline-based regimens and taxanes have been shown to improve overall survival in women with metastatic or recurrent inoperable breast cancer over the last 35 years.

Researchers at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece performed a meta-analysis of 128 clinical trials that included 148 comparisons of breast cancer treatment regimens.

"Our meta-analysis quantifies the progress achieved in the treatment of advanced breast cancer with nonhormonal systemic treatment in the last 35 years. Several regimens have shown effectiveness, and for some of them, the treatment effects are practically indistinguishable in magnitude," study authors were quoted as saying.

For the meta-analysis, researchers used single-agent chemotherapy with old non-anthracycline drugs as a baseline for comparison. They found the use of anthracycline regimens led to a 22 percent relative risk reduction in overall mortality. Single drug taxane treatment lead to a 33 percent relative risk reduction in overall mortality. A combination of a taxane drug with either capecitabine or gemcitabine (anthracycline regimens) lead to a 51 percent relative risk reduction over the single agent chemotherapy.

Study authors say most of the regimens appeared to have similar efficacy when used in women who had not been previously treated and in women who had had prior therapy.


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