Nab-Paclitaxel Followed by 5-Fluorouracil, Epirubicin and Cyclophosphamide in Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Resectable Breast Cancer: A Phase II Trial

Takanori Kin, Shoichiro Ohtani, Reina Maeda, Ayako Ueno, Miwa Fujihara, Yuri Takamatsu, Yukiko Kajiwara, Mitsuya Ito, Kensuke Kawasaki, Keisuke Abe, Yasuhiko Sakata, Koichi Hiraki


Background: The aim of this phase II study was to evaluate combined nab-paclitaxel (nab-PTX) with sequential anthracycline-based therapy as a neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: We enrolled 41 patients with advanced breast cancer (stage IIA - IIIC). All patients were to receive three-weekly nab-PTX (260 mg/m2) for four cycles followed by three-weekly 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC) for four cycles. Trastuzumab administration was permitted in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive patients.

Results: The overall pathological complete response (pCR) rate was 24% (10 of 41). In patients with luminal A, luminal B (HER2-), luminal B (HER2+), triple-negative and HER2, the pCR rates were 0% (0/2), 7% (1/14), 42% (3/7), 25% (4/16) and 100% (2/2), respectively. The most significant toxicities of nab-PTX were grade 2/3 peripheral sensory neuropathy (24%) and grade 3/4 neutropenia (26%). Febrile neutropenia was not observed in any patient. The most significant toxicities of FEC were grade 3/4 neutropenia (24%) and grade 3 febrile neutropenia (9%). One patient died of sepsis secondary to pneumonia during FEC treatment.

Conclusions: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy using nab-PTX with trastuzumab every 3 weeks followed by FEC was suitably tolerated and associated with a high pCR rate of 55% for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

World J Oncol. 2020;11(5):197-203


Breast cancer; Nab-paclitaxel; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy

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