Randomized trial of dose-dense versus conventionally scheduled and sequential versus concurrent combination chemotherapy as postoperative adjuvant treatment of node-positive primary breast cancer: first report of Intergroup Trial C9741/Cancer and Leukemia Group B Trial 9741.

Abstract

PURPOSE Using a 2 x 2 factorial design, we studied the adjuvant chemotherapy of women with axillary node-positive breast cancer to compare sequential doxorubicin (A), paclitaxel (T), and cyclophosphamide (C) with concurrent doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) followed by paclitaxel (T) for disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS); to determine whether the dose density of the agents improves DFS and OS; and to compare toxicities. PATIENTS AND METHODS A total of 2,005 female patients were randomly assigned to receive one of the following regimens: (I) sequential A x 4 (doses) --> T x 4 --> C x 4 with doses every 3 weeks, (II) sequential A x 4 --> T x 4 --> C x 4 every 2 weeks with filgrastim, (III) concurrent AC x 4 --> T x 4 every 3 weeks, or (IV) concurrent AC x 4 --> T x 4 every 2 weeks with filgrastim. RESULTS A protocol-specified analysis was performed at a median follow-up of 36 months: 315 patients had experienced relapse or died, compared with 515 expected treatment failures. Dose-dense treatment improved the primary end point, DFS (risk ratio [RR] = 0.74; P =.010), and OS (RR = 0.69; P =.013). Four-year DFS was 82% for the dose-dense regimens and 75% for the others. There was no difference in either DFS or OS between the concurrent and sequential schedules. There was no interaction between density and sequence. Severe neutropenia was less frequent in patients who received the dose-dense regimens. CONCLUSION Dose density improves clinical outcomes significantly, despite the lower than expected number of events at this time. Sequential chemotherapy is as effective as concurrent chemotherapy.

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@article{Citron2003RandomizedTO, title={Randomized trial of dose-dense versus conventionally scheduled and sequential versus concurrent combination chemotherapy as postoperative adjuvant treatment of node-positive primary breast cancer: first report of Intergroup Trial C9741/Cancer and Leukemia Group B Trial 9741.}, author={Marc L Citron and Donald A Berry and Constance Cirrincione and Clifford Hudis and Eric P Winer and William J Gradishar and Nancy E Davidson and Silvana Martino and Robert Livingston and James N Ingle and Edith A Perez and John Carpenter and David Hurd and James F Holland and Barbara L Smith and Carolyn I Sartor and Eleanor H Leung and Jeffrey Abrams and Richard L Schilsky and Hyman B Muss and Larry Norton}, journal={Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology}, year={2003}, volume={21 8}, pages={1431-9} }