Prediction of response to repeat utilization of anthracycline in recurrent breast cancer patients previously administered anthracycline-containing chemotherapeutic regimens as neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Jul;103(3):313-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-006-9384-8. Epub 2006 Oct 25.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the predictors of the response to doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide in patients with recurrent breast cancer (RBC) previously treated with anthracycline-containing regimens in a neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting.

Method: Between December 1993 and October 2005, 664 patients had received combined doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide chemotherapy (doxorubicin, 40 mg/m(2), iv on day 1; cyclophosphamide, 500 mg/m(2), iv on day 1, every 21 days) for RBC at our institution. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the efficacy of doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide in 99 of these 664 RBC patients who had also previously been administered an anthracycline-based chemotherapy in a neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting.

Results: The median cumulative dose of the previously administered anthracycline was 156 mg/m(2). The median disease-free interval (DFI) and median anthracycline-free interval were 33.8 and 43.7 months, respectively. The overall response rate to doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide therapy was 38.4% (95% CI; range, 28.8-48.0%). The median time to progression and overall survival were 6.2 and 17.5 months, respectively. The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed a significant association of the response to doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide therapy with the DFI (P = 0.02); human epidermal receptor type 2 (HER2) status also tended to affect the response rate, however the association was not statistically significant (P = 0.06).

Conclusion: DFI and HER2 status may be associated with the response to repeat utilization of anthracycline-containing regimens in RBC patients also treated previously with anthracycline-containing chemotherapeutic regimens in a neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthracyclines / administration & dosage*
  • Anthracyclines / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Disease Progression
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anthracyclines
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Receptor, ErbB-2