Dose-dense anthracycline-based chemotherapy for node-positive breast cancer

Georgiana K. Ellis, Robert B. Livingston, Julie R. Gralow, Stephanie J. Green, Tove Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: Theoretical considerations and clinical experience suggest that dose-dense chemotherapy may be superior to other approaches using the same drugs. We studied a dose-dense combination of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, with or without fluorouracil, as adjuvant therapy. Patients and Methods: Patients with resected breast cancer were treated if they were node-positive and estrogen receptor-negative, positive for overexpression of Her-2-neu, or had four or more involved nodes. Doxorubicin was given weekly to a total dose of 480 mg/m2. Cyclophosphamide 60 mg/m2 was given daily by mouth during the period of doxorubicin treatment. The first 30 patients received fluorouracil at 300 mg/m2/wk intravenously concurrently with doxorubicin administration. In the last 22, it was omitted because of symptomatic hand-foot syndrome in the majority of patients. Filgrastim (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]) was administered during chemotherapy every day except the day of intravenous administration and continued until 1 week after the completion of the chemotherapy. Results: Between October 20, 1992, and June 10, 1997, we enrolled 52 patients. The mean delivered dose-intensity for doxorubicin was 18.6 mg/m2/wk. Hospitalization was required in 6% of patients for reversible febrile neutropenia. There were no acute treatment-related deaths, but one patient subsequently died of acute leukemia with a characteristic translocation for anthracycline-related exposure. At 5 years, the event-free survival was 86% for all patients (95% confidence interval, 75% to 95%). Conclusion: Continuous dose-dense chemotherapy with G-CSF support produced encouraging results, which seem to be superior to those expected with "standard" doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy. It deserves a test in the form of a randomized trial where this approach to anthrocycline-based treatment is compared with intermittent administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3637-3643
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Dose-dense anthracycline-based chemotherapy for node-positive breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this