Breast cancer is the most frequent tumor among women worldwide and is the second cause of cancer-related mortality in the US. Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) accounts for less than 10% of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and about 30% of early breast cancer patients will develop recurrent, advanced, or metastatic disease. It remains an incurable illness and the primary goal of its management is palliative. Several agents are active for the first-line treatment of MBC. The taxanes, paclitaxel and docetaxel, represent the standard of care for the treatment of these patients. Among the various schedules, docetaxel can be administered weekly, achieving similar efficacy results with lower toxicity compared with conventional schedules. Weekly docetaxel (25-40 mg/m(2)) has been widely tested in several phase I and II studies both as a single agent and in multichemotherapy regimens, reaching overall response rates ranging from 26% and 86% or 20% and 73% with docetaxel alone or in combination, respectively, depending on doses, associations, and line of treatment. Overall, published data support the administration of weekly docetaxel for the treatment of MBC patients even if data from phase III randomized trials are still lacking.
Keywords: chemotherapy; docetaxel; metastatic breast cancer; weekly.