In a nutshell
This article presents summarized data from two clinical trials. The trials evaluated the addition of Capecitabine to standard postoperative chemotherapy for patients with high risk early breast cancer.
Capecitabine is a chemotherapy drug that is taken orally and slows the growth of tumors. It can be used for the treatment of breast cancer in patients where the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body (metastasized). It is also used if the maximum lifetime dosage of treatment with other drugs such as taxanes and anthracyclines has been reached or if these treatments were unsuccessful.
Hormone receptors are proteins that are found on breast cells. Three important receptors that may or may not be on breast cancer cells are the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2. Breast cancers that do not have ER and PR receptor are referred to as hormone receptor negative. Those that lack all three receptors are called triple negative.
Methods & findings
A total of 4107 women with high risk early breast cancer were analyzed. All participants were treated (after surgery) with the standard chemotherapy regimen, which includes taxanes and antracyclines (AT). 2058 of these women received Capecitabine in addition to AT (CAT).
Results showed that patients treated with the triple drug combination taxane, anthracycline and Capecitabine (CAT) had a longer survival time without any progression of the breast cancer and longer overall survival 5 years post treatment. It also decreased the chance of the cancer spreading outside the breast. This treatment was well-tolerated in terms of side effects. Patients who were hormone receptor negative, HER2-negative (or triple negative) also had an extended survival without any progression of the breast cancer.
The bottom line
Capecitabine is an important addition to a taxane and anthracycline chemotherapy regimen, improving cancer survival.
The fine print
These results support using a triple regimen using Capecitabine, anthracyclines and taxanes after breast cancer surgery. However, this analysis only included 2 trials and should be investigated further.
You should discuss adding Capecitabine to your treatment regimen with your doctor.
Published By :
Mar 02, 2012
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