Adjuvant Therapy of Breast Cancer with Docetaxel-Containing Combination (TAC)

A Hungarian experience in the BCIRG 001 trial

Katalin BOÉR1, István LÁNG2, Éva JUHOS2, Tamás PINTÉR3, János SZÁNTÓ4

1V. Department of Internal Medicine - Oncology, Szent Margit Hospital, Budapest, Hungary
2National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary
3Petz Aladár Hospital, Gyõr, Hungary
4Department of Oncology, Debrecen University, Debrecen, Hungary


The adjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer changed in the past two decades. Docetaxel containing regimens are highly active in metastatic breast cancer. A logical approach was their incorporation into trials of early breast cancer adjuvant therapy. The authors present the Hungarian interim analysis and experience with the BCIRG 001 randomized, multicentric, phase III clinical trial comparing TAC (docetaxel, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide) and FAC (5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide) in the adjuvant treatment of node positive breast cancer patients. The results are presented compared to the international data. Three Hungarian centers - Szt. Margit Hospital, Budapest, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Petz Aladár Hospital, Gyõr - participated in the international trial. Between June 1997 and June 1999, 61 patients with node positive breast cancer were enrolled in the study after the surgery. Thirty-four patients were randomized to TAC (75/50/500 mg/m2 6xq3wk) and 27 patients were randomized to FAC (500/50/500 mg/m2 6x q3wk) chemotherapy, with prospective stratification by node (1-3, 4+). Patients with hormone receptor positive tumors received tamoxifen for 5 years after the chemotherapy. Radiotherapy was performed after the 6th cycle of chemotherapy. 33 months of follow up was performed. In both arms the hematological toxicity was more frequent. The TAC group showed a higher incidence of neutropenia (76%) compared to the FAC (22%), as well as a higher incidence of febrile neutropenia (26 % versus none), without grade 3-4 infection and there was no cases of septic death. More grade 3-4 nausea and vomiting was observed in the FAC group. At three years follow up, results indicated improvement in disease-free survival (88% vs. 76%) in favour of TAC, and similar tendency was observed in the case of overall survival (97% vs. 88%). Based on the international data analysis TAC was superior to FAC chemotherapy, the results show statistically significant differences between the two arms. This benefit with TAC was seen regardless of hormone receptor status. Additional follow up data will evaluate the role of TAC in the adjuvant setting of early breast cancer treatment. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 9, Nr 3, 166-169, 2003

Key words: early breast cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy; comparative study; docetaxel

Received: Aug 10, 2003; accepted: Sep 10, 2003
Correspondence: Katalin BOÉR, V. Department of Internal Medicine - Oncology, Szent Margit Hospital, Bécsi út 132 Budapest H-1032, Hungary; Tel: 3612502-420, Fax: 361 3686-665; E-mail:

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