In a nutshell
The authors aimed to assess the results of a specific pre-operative chemotherapy.
Pre-operative chemotherapy is used to shrink the tumor before surgery. Abraxane and cyclophosphamide (Endoxan) are used as combined chemotherapy and referred to as ABC. 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil), epirubicin (Pharmorubicin) and cyclophosphamide are another combination treatment referred to as FEC. ABC has been confirmed as valuable chemotherapy due to its safety and overall survival rate.
To date, the effects of ABC used with FEC have not been well studied.
Methods & findings
This article aimed to evaluate the safety of ABC and FEC administered three times per week as a pre-operative chemotherapy. 54 women with invasive breast cancer (the cancer can spread quickly) began this 8-week treatment. 17 of these were positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2+) and 13 were negative for both HER2 and hormone receptors (the absence of estrogen or progesterone receptor proteins on the cancer cells). This is known as triple-negative breast cancer.
All women underwent surgery after this treatment.
Some adverse events (an unexpected health issue – may or may not be treatment related) were observed including mild anemia (low red blood cell count; only 15% of all women), rash (2% following ABC treatment only) and moderate fatigue (17%). After full treatment, however, mild nausea was the only major side effect (41%).
Overall, 37% of the women with breast cancer, including 62% of the women with triple negative cancer, achieved complete disappearance of the cancer.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that TRI-ABC and FEC is a safe pre-operative chemotherapy.
The fine print
This study included a small group of patients.
Published By :
Clinical Breast Cancer
Apr 01, 2015
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