Capecitabine added to standard treatment given before surgery helps to eradicate tumors in patients with early breast cancer

BERLIN, September 23 /PRNewswire/ --- The Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group Present Data Which Highlight Benefits of Adding capecitabine to epirubicin and docetaxel in the Neoadjuvant Setting Data from the ABCSG-24 study presented at the joint 15th ECCO and 34th ESMO congress in Berlin, Germany, show that adding capecitabine (Xeloda®) to anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimens prior to surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) completely eradicated the tumor in 24 percent of women with HER2-positive or HER2-negative early breast cancer. This is an impressive finding since the proportion of women achieving total tumor eradication with standard chemotherapy1/8…3/8 for HER2-positive or HER2-negative early breast cancer is less than 20 percent (range 6-18).1/813/8

"These new data show that adding capecitabine to epirubicin and docetaxel neoadjuvant regimens when treating women with early breast cancer, results in increased efficacy compared to epirubicin and docetaxel alone. This new data could lead to improvements in treatment for women with early stages of the disease as the increased efficacy may result in prolonged overall survival," said Professor Günther Steger, Division of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, General Hospital Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Despite recent advances, there is still an unmet need in the treatment and management of early breast cancer with relapse occurring in approximately 30-50 percent of patients, depending on individual risk factors, even after chemotherapy.1/823/8

In addition to the ABCSG-24 study, several other studies of neoadjuvant combination regimens that included capecitabine have shown positive efficacy results.1/833/8,1/843/8,1/853/8,1/863/8,1/873/8,1/883/8,1/893/8 The therapeutic success in these studies was measured as complete pathological response (complete disappearance of tumor cells in the breast and in the lymph nodes), which is a strong predictor for long-term survival.1/813/8, 1/8103/8

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the most common cancer among women.1/8113/8 There are 1.1 million new cases o female breast cancer each year worldwide.1/8113/8

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References 1/8…3/8 anthracycline plus cyclophosphamide or anthracycline plus a taxane 1/813/8 Kaufmann M, von Minckwitz G, Smith R, et al: International expert panel on the use of primary (preoperative) systemic treatment of operable breast cancer: Review and recommendations. J Clin Oncol 2003;21:2600-2608 1/823/8 Olivotto IA, Bajdik CD, Ravdin PM, et al. Population-based validation  of the prognostic model ADJUVANT! for early breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 2005;23:2716-25 1/833/8 Lee KS, Ro J, Nam BH, et al. A randomized phase-III trial of docetaxel/capecitabine versus doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide as primary chemotherapy for patients with stage II/III breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2008;109:481-9. 1/843/8 Berton-Rigaud D, RochÃ5/8 H, Penault-Llorca F, et al. Benefit of neoadjuvant capecitabine + epirubicin + cyclophosphamide (CEX) vs 5-FU + epirubicin + cyclophosphamide (FEC) for operable breast cancer followed by adjuvant docetaxel. J Clin Oncol 2008;26(May 20 Suppl.):598. 1/853/8 Wildiers H, Neven P, Christiaens M-R, et al. Multicenter phase II study of neoadjuvant capecitabine and docetaxel plus or minus trastuzumab for patients with locally advanced breast cancer: final analysis. Cancer Res 2009;69(Suppl. S):335S. 1/863/8 Greil R, Moik M, Reitsamer R, et al. Neoadjuvant bevacizumab, docetaxel and capecitabine combination therapy for HER2/neu-negative invasive breast cancer: Efficacy and safety in a phase II pilot study. Eur J Surg Oncol 2009 Feb 26. 1/8Epub ahead of print3/8. 1/873/8 Bellet M, MuÃoz M, Pelegri A, et al. Phase II study of capecitabine(C) in combination with docetaxel (D) as neoadjuvant treatment in patients with locally advanced breast cancer (IIIA and IIIB stage). J Clin Oncol 2004;22(July 15 Suppl.)(Abst 752). 1/883/8 Lebowitz PF, Eng-Wong J, Swain SM, et al. A phase II trial of neoadjuvant docetaxel and capecitabine for locally advanced breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2004;10:6764-9. 1/893/8 Tripathy D, Moisa C, Glück S. An open-label study of capecitabine and docetaxel as neoadjuvant treatment for patients with recently diagnosed HER2-negative breast cancer plus trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer. Eur J Cancer Suppl 2007;5:223 1/8Abst 21293/8. 1/8103/8 Rastogi, et al Preoperative chemotherapy: updates of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Protocols B-18 B-27 J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 10;26(5):775-85 1/8113/8 Kamanger F et al Patterns of cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence across five continents: defining priorities to reduce cancer disparities in different geographic regions of the world. J Clin Oncol 2006; 24: 2137 - 2150