John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


Update on docetaxel and breast cancer Volume 91, issue 5, Mai 2004


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Département d’oncologie médicale, Institut Curie, 26, rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

Docetaxel (Taxotère ®) has been developed in breast cancer during the last decade. First its activity in monotherapy was proven in metastatic setting after failure of anthracycline therapy. Then the association with anthracycline demonstrated substantial activity leading to its development in early stages of breast cancer and its incorporation in adjuvant and neoadjuvant settings. Recently the first adjuvant trial comparing the association TAC versus FAC was presented. In the TAC arm, the disease free survival was better comparing with FAC (p ∓ 0.0011) and survival was better in the subgroup with less than four positive lymph nodes. In the neoadjuvant setting, the incorporation of docetaxel after an anthracycline‐based regimen (protocols Aberdeen and NSABP‐B27) led to better clinical response, subsequently to better breast conservation and more important the increase of the pathological response rate. Improvement of survival has been reported in the Aderbeen study but a longer follow‐up of the NSABP B27 study is required to confirm the impact of Taxotère ® in the outcome of breast cancer. The next step will be the development of the combination of the most active chemotherapeutic regimen with targeted therapies according to molecular characteristics of the tumor. The integration of trastuzumab with taxane‐based chemotherapy has already demonstrated high activity in metastatic breast cancer with overexpression of HER2 and adjuvant trials are ongoing.