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Once week chemotherapy more effective

Patients who have operable breast cancer may get more benefit from once in a week chemotherapy using Paclitaxel (Taxol) compared to once in three week administration of the same drug as per results from a recent study. This finding is to be published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). The research was conducted by Marjorie C. Green and colleagues from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; and Brown University, Providence, RI.

The researchers randomized 258 patients and assigned them to receive doses of paclitaxel (taxol) administered either weekly or once every 3 weeks, followed by four treatments of 5-FU/doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide, a combination known as FAC every 3 weeks. Of this 258 patients 110 patients had lymph node involvement and 148 patients had no clinical evidence of lymph node involvement. Weekly paclitaxel (taxol) followed by FAC was administered to 127 patients and once-every-3-weeks paclitaxel (taxol) followed by FAC was administered to 131 patients.

The researchers have found that clinical response to treatment was similar between groups, however the patients receiving weekly paclitaxel (taxol) were found to have significantly higher rates of complete pathological remission (no evidence of cancer after surgery and examination under microscope). The complete pathological remission in the group who received weekly paclitaxel (taxol) was 28.2% compared to the group who received once in three weeks of paclitaxel (taxol) who had a complete pathological response rate of 15.7%. This finding was statistically significant with a p value of .02.

Did you know? Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Once week chemotherapy more effective

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