For Breast Cancer, Docetaxel Improves Progression-Free Survival

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Docetaxel/capecitabine regimen for breast cancer followed by capecitabine maintenance led to longer progression-free survival.
Docetaxel/capecitabine regimen for breast cancer followed by capecitabine maintenance led to longer progression-free survival.

A docetaxel/capecitabine regimen for advanced breast cancer followed by capecitabine maintenance medication led to longer progression-free survival and response duration than a vinorelbine/capecitabine regimen, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer has shown.

For the phase III trial, researchers enrolled 100 patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer and randomly assigned 48 to receive docetaxel plus capecitabine and 42 to receive vinorelbine plus capecitabine. All patients received capecitabine maintenance medication.

Results showed that median progression-free survival was 8.4 months in the docetaxel group and 7.1 months in the vinorelbine group (HR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.3; P=0.0026). In addition, response duration was also longer in the docetaxel group (7.8 months vs 6.6 months; P=0.0451).

Median overall survival was 35.3 months and 19.8 months in the docetaxel and vinorelbine arms, respectively (HR = 1.48; 95% CI: 0.88, 2.47; P=0.1349).

RELATED: Increased Use of Intensive Adjuvant Chemo in Stage I Breast Cancer

Researchers found that postmenopausal women at least 40 years of age who presented with visceral metastases were more likely to benefit from the docetaxel regimen, while hormone receptor status, HER2 receptor status, or a history of taxane treatment had an impact on survival between the two treatment arms.

In regard to safety, patients in the docetaxel arm were significantly more likely to develop hand-foot syndrome compared with those in the vinorelbine arm (47% vs 16.7%; P<0.0001).


  1. Wang J, Xu B, Yuan P, et al. Capecitabine combined with docetaxel versus vinorelbine followed by capecitabine maintenance medication for first-line treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer: phase 3 randomized trial.Cancer. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29492.

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