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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 68

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

High-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in metastatic breast cancer: overview of six randomized trials.
Berry DA, Ueno NT, Johnson MM, Lei X, Caputo J, Smith DA, Yancey LJ, Crump M, Stadtmauer EA, Biron P, Crown JP, Schmid P, Lotz JP, Rosti G, Bregni M, Demirer T
J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(24):3224. Epub 2011 Jul 18.
PURPOSE: High doses of effective chemotherapy are compelling if they can be delivered safely. Substantial interest in supporting high-dose chemotherapy with bone marrow or autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in the 1980s and 1990s led to the initiation of randomized trials to evaluate its effect in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
METHODS: We identified six randomized trials in metastatic breast cancer that evaluated high doses of chemotherapy with transplant support versus a control regimen without stem-cell support. We assembled a single database containing individual patient information from these trials. The primary analysis of overall survival was a log-rank test comparing high dose versus control. We also used Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for known covariates. We addressed potential treatment differences within subsets of patients.
RESULTS: The effect of high-dose chemotherapy on overall survival was not statistically different (median, 2.16 v 2.02 years; P = .08). A statistically significant advantage in progression-free survival (median, 0.91 v 0.69 years) did not translate into survival benefit. Subset analyses found little evidence that there are groups of patients who might benefit from high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic support.
CONCLUSION: Overall survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer in the six randomized trials was not significantly improved by high-dose chemotherapy; any benefit from high doses was small. No identifiable subset of patients seems to benefit from high-dose chemotherapy.
Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77230-1402, USA. dberry@mdanderson.org