Kümmel, S; Thomas, A; Paepke, S; Schwarz, M; Heinrich, G; Wetzel, A; Elling, D; Kohls, A; Lichtenegger, W; Blohmer, JU
Primary systemic chemotherapy with sequential, dose-dense epirubicin and docetaxel for inoperable, locally advanced inflammatory breast cancer: a phase II study.
Sequential, dose-dense epirubicin plus docetaxel was evaluated as primary systemic therapy for women with inoperable, locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) or inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Patients (LABC n=27; IBC n=7) received 3 cycles of epirubicin 120 mg/m2 every 2 weeks followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel 100 mg/m2 every 2 weeks, with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Grade 3-4 toxicities were observed in 21 of 195 cycles (10.8%). Grade 3 anemia and leukopenia each occurred in 1% of cycles. Following chemotherapy, all patients underwent surgery. Eight patients (23.5%) had a clinical complete response and 15 (44.1%) had a partial response. In patients with IBC, median skin thickness decreased from 5.85 mm (range: 3.1-6.2 mm) to 4 mm (range: 2.7-5.1 mm) (p<0.005). Sequential, dose-dense epirubicin plus docetaxel achieved a high response rate among patients with LABC or IBC with only moderate toxicity.