Purpose: To investigate the therapeutic value of reinduction with the same cytostatic treatment that had been used in induction treatment for women with metastatic breast cancer.
Materials and methods: One hundred six women with metastatic breast cancer were given dibromodulcitol (mitolactol), doxorubicin, vincristine, tamoxifen, and fluoxymesterone (DAVTH) for 6 months of induction treatment, then randomized to receive one of two chemotherapy regimens if they had obtained an induction partial response (PR) or no change (NC), or to receive observation versus chemotherapy if they had obtained an induction complete response (CR). Patients were then retreated with DAVTH reinduction after relapse.
Results: Seventy-four patients were eligible or had minor reasons for ineligibility. Severe or life-threatening toxicity was documented in 46%, and lethal toxicity in 4%. Eighteen percent had a response on reinduction (zero of 16 induction nonresponders, 15% induction PR, 44% induction CR). The median time to treatment failure (TTF) from reinduction was 3 months, and the median survival duration from reinduction was 14 months. In a logistic model, factors associated with more reinduction responses were observation after induction CR (P = .002) and age greater than 55 years (P = .04). Time since induction was not significant.
Conclusion: Reinduction of response after treatment failure remains a therapeutic problem. The need for better salvage treatment underlines the importance of developing new regimens.