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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 54

of 'Systemic treatment of metastatic breast cancer in women: Chemotherapy'

Adjuvant cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil versus fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy in premenopausal women with axillary node-positive operable breast cancer: results of a randomized trial. The International Collaborative Cancer Group.
Coombes RC, Bliss JM, Wils J, Morvan F, EspiéM, Amadori D, Gambrosier P, Richards M, Aapro M, Villar-Grimalt A, McArdle C, Pérez-López FR, Vassilopoulos P, Ferreira EP, Chilvers CE, Coombes G, Woods EM, Marty M
J Clin Oncol. 1996;14(1):35.
PURPOSE: To determine whether a combination chemotherapy regimen that contains epirubicin (fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide [FEC]) is superior to the standard cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) combination in premenopausal women with axillary node-positive operable breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The International Collaborative Cancer Group (ICCG) conducted a large randomized trial in which two alternative schedules were used according to participating center: CMF1 versus FEC1 and CMF2 versus FEC2.
RESULTS: Seven hundred fifty-nine patients were entered onto the trial. At a median follow-up time of 4.5 years, no significant benefit for the anthracycline-containing regimen was observed in terms of relapse-free (P = .61) or overall survival (P = .13). FEC1 and CMF1 appear to beof similar efficacy, but there is a suggestion that FEC2 may be superior to CMF2, since patients who received FEC2 had improved overall (P = .02) and relapse-free survival (P = .03) rates. Nausea and vomiting and alopecia were more common in the epirubicin-containing regimen (P = .001).
CONCLUSION: We conclude that the FEC2 regimen, in which epirubicin replaced the methotrexate in CMF, is the preferable adjuvant chemotherapy regimen for premenopausal patients with operable axillary node-positive breast cancer.
Medical Oncology Unit, Charing Cross Hospital, United Kingdom.