Weekly paclitaxel and every-3-week docetaxel regimens improved clinical outcomes in women with breast cancer, a recent study published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.

This was a phase 3, four-arm study, conducted in 4,954 women with stage II to III breast cancer. Patients who had previously received treatment with four cycles of doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel or docetaxel weekly or every 3 weeks.

The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS), and second endpoint was overall survival (OS).

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After a median follow-up of 12.1 years, weekly paclitaxel improved DFS (HR = 0.84; P=0.011) and OS (HR = 0.87; P=0.09) compared with every 3 weeks.

Weekly paclitaxel also improved DFS (HR = 0.69; P=0.010) and OS (HR = 0.69; P=0.019) in triple-negative breast cancer.  As for docetaxel, the every-3-week schedule improved DFS (HR = 0.79; P=0.001) and OS (HR = 0.86; P=0.054).

RELATED: Adding Everolimus May Improve Progression-Free Survival in Advanced Breast Cancer

Moreover, black race and obesity were associated with breast cancer recurrence and death.

The findings suggest that certain taxane schedules improve clinical outcomes over others. Additional studies are warranted to investigate why black race and obesity impact clinical outcome in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. 


  1. Sparano JA, Zhao F, Martino S, et al. Long-term follow-up of the E1199 phase III trial evaluating the role of taxane and schedule in operable breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.60.9271.