Salvage treatment of metastatic breast cancer with docetaxel and carboplatin. A multicenter phase II trial

Oncology. 2003;64(3):207-12. doi: 10.1159/000069306.


Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of docetaxel in combination with carboplatin as salvage treatment in women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

Patients and methods: Chemotherapy-pretreated women with MBC were treated with docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) as 1-hour i.v. infusion followed by carboplatin AUC 6 mg/ml.min, using the Calvert's formula, as 30-min i.v. infusion. Cycles were repeated on an outpatient basis every 3 weeks.

Results: Thirty-six patients received a total of 210 chemotherapy cycles (median 6 cycles/patient). All but one patient had previously received anthracyclines for the treatment of metastatic disease and half of the patients had failed to respond to front-line treatment. Twenty-eight (78%) patients had visceral disease. On an intention-to-treat analysis there were three (8%) complete and 19 (53%) partial responses for an overall response rate of 61% (95% CI: 45.2-77.0%). The response rate was 44% (2 CRs, 6 PRs) among 18 patients who had progressive or stable disease as best response to front-line treatment. The median duration of response was 8 months, the median time to tumor progression 10 months, and the probability of 1-year survival 66%. Grade 3-4 neutropenia was the main hematologic toxicity occurring in 16 (45%) patients or 36 (17%) cycles. Seven (19%) patients developed 8 (4%) febrile neutropenic episodes. Grade 3 thrombocytopenia occurred in 4 (11%) patients or 6 (3%) cycles. Non-hematologic toxicity was generally mild. G-CSF was used in 19 (53%) patients or 134 (64%) cycles. There was one sudden death possibly related to the treatment.

Conclusion: The docetaxel-carboplatin combination is an active outpatient salvage regimen for the treatment of women with MBC relapsing or not responding to anthracycline-based front-line therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Docetaxel
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / analogs & derivatives*
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Taxoids*
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel