Salvage therapy with single-agent paclitaxel by three-hour infusion in metastatic breast cancer: An experience in Taipei Veterans General Hospital

Cheng Jeng Tai, Wei Shu Wang, Jin Hwang Liu, Chueh Chuan Yen, Frank Sheng Fan, Tzeon Jye Chiou, Po Min Chen

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Background: Paclitaxel is an active agent in the treatment of breast, ovarian, lung and head and neck cancers. In previous phase I and II trials, it exerted novel cytotoxic effect on several malignancies. Various doses and regimens of paclitaxel have been assessed in metastatic breast cancer, with responses between 20 and 62%. However, combination therapy with other anti-cancer drugs leads to a high incidence of side effects. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of paclitaxel given by 3 h infusion as salvage chemotherapy for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Methods: Between May 1999 and April 2000, 14 women with metastatic breast cancer were enrolled in this study and all the patients had to have measurable lesions. The median age of the patients was 48.7 years (range 39-56 years). All of them were definitely evidenced as having metastatic breast cancer and received complete courses of anthracycline-containing agents before applying paclitaxel. The protocol was single-agent paclitaxel (Anzatax, Faulding, Australia) at a moderate dosage of 175 mg/m2 by 3 h intravenous infusion every 3 weeks. Results: A total of 75 cycles were administered to these 14 patients with a median of four delivered cycles (range 3-14) and the response rate was 28.6% (95% CI: 21-40%), including four partial remission, three stable disease and seven progressive disease. The median time to progression was 3 (range 3-7) months. Hematological toxicities were minimal with no evidence of severe (grade 3 or 4) leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. Hepatic toxicities were observed in 12 cycles with five in grade 3. Conclusions: Our study indicates that utilizing single-agent paclitaxel exerts moderate activity on anthracycline-refractory metastatic breast cancer patients without excessive toxicities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Anzatax
  • Chemotherapy
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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