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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 6

of 'Dosing of anticancer agents in adults'

Dose and dose intensity as determinants of outcome in the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B.
Budman DR, Berry DA, Cirrincione CT, Henderson IC, Wood WC, Weiss RB, Ferree CR, Muss HB, Green MR, Norton L, Frei E 3rd
J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90(16):1205.
BACKGROUND: Both total dose and dose intensity of adjuvant chemotherapy are postulated to be important variables in the outcome for patients with operable breast cancer. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B study 8541 examined the effects of adjuvant treatment using conventional-range dose and dose intensity in female patients with stage II (axillary lymph node-positive) breast cancer.
METHODS: Within 6 weeks of surgery (radical mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, or lumpectomy), 1550 patients with unilateral breast cancer were randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms: high-, moderate-, or low-dose intensity. The patients received cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and 5-fluorouracil on day 1 of each chemotherapy cycle, with 5-fluorouracil administration repeated on day 8. The high-dose arm had twice the dose intensity and twice the drug dose as the low-dose arm. The moderate-dose arm had two thirds the dose intensity as the high-dose arm but the same total drug dose. Disease-free survival and overall survival were primary end points of the study.
RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 9 years, disease-free survival and overall survival for patients on the moderate- and high-dose arms are superior to the corresponding survival measures for patients on the low-dose arm (two-sided P<.0001 and two-sided P = .004, respectively), with no difference in disease-free or overall survival between the moderate- and the high-dose arms. At 5 years, overall survival (average +/- standard error) is 79% +/- 2% for patients on the high-dose arm, 77% +/- 2% for the patients on the moderate-dose arm, and 72% +/- 2% for patients on the low-dose arm; disease-free survival is 66% +/- 2%, 61% +/- 2%, and 56% +/- 2%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Within the conventional dose range for this chemotherapy regimen, a higher dose is associated with better disease-free survival and overall survival.
Department of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital-New York University School of Medicine, Manhasset 11030, USA. budman@nshs.edu