Background: The objectives of this phase III trial were to compare the time to progressive disease (TtPD), overall response rate (ORR), overall survival, and toxicity of gemcitabine, epirubicin, and paclitaxel (GET) versus fluorouracil (FU), epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC) as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Patients and Methods: Female patients aged 18 to 75 years with stage IV and measurable MBC were enrolled and randomly assigned to either gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2, days 1 and 4), epirubicin (90 mg/m2, day 1), and paclitaxel (175 mg/m2, day 1) or FU (500 mg/m2, day 1), epirubicin (90 mg/m2, day 1), and cyclophosphamide (500 mg/m2, day 1). Both regimens were administered every 21 days for a maximum of eight cycles. Results: Between October 1999 and November 2002, 259 patients (GET, n = 124; FEC, n = 135) were enrolled. Baseline characteristics were well balanced across treatment arms. After a median of 20.4 months of follow-up, median TtPD was 9.1 months and 9.0 months in the GET and FEC arms, respectively (P = .557). The ORR was 62.3% in the GET arm (n = 114) and 51.2% in the FEC arm (n = 129; P = .093). Grade 3 and 4 toxicities, including neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, stomatitis, neurosensory toxicity, and allergy, occurred significantly more often in the GET arm. Conclusion: No significant differences in terms of TtPD and ORR were observed between the two treatment arms. Treatment-related toxicity was higher in the GET arm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research