A different yet traditional approach to neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer: The combination of epirubicin and docetaxel Neoadjuvant epirubicin docetaxel in breast cancer'

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Yuce E., KARAKULLUKÇU S., Alandag C., BÜLBÜL H., SAYGIN İ., Kavgaci H.



Aim: Epirubicin-docetaxel (ET) combination is an unusual and less frequently recommended regimen in the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of this combination. Material and Methods: The study involved 46 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009-2019 who received neoadjuvant therapy. All received epirubicin 80 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 (on day-1) over a 21-day period, in varying cycles. Results: The mean age of the patients was 49.3 +/- 12.3 years. Twenty-one (45.7%) were premenopausal and 25 (54.3%) postmenopausal, 27 (64.3%) were =T2 at the time of diagnosis and 15 (35.7%) were >T2. Clinical involvement of the lymph nodes was present in 36 (80%). Eleven (28.9%) were luminal-A, 20 (52.6%) luminal-B, 2 (5.3%) HER2-positive, and 5 (13.2) triple-negative. Twenty-six (56.5%) patients had received 3 cycles and 20 (43.5%) had more than 3. In the clinical-response evaluation, complete response was observed in 10 (21.7%) patients, partial response in 24 (52.2%), stable disease in 9 (19.6%), and progressive disease in 3 (6.5%). The objective-response rate (ORR) was 73.9%. Total pathological-complete-response (pCR) was observed in 7 (15.2%) patients. pCR rates were higher in patients without clinical-lymph-node involvement (44.4% vs 8.3%, p:0.022). The median follow-up time was 37.5 months. Discussion: Although the combination of ET in the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer is not among the regimens recommended in the guidelines, according to our study, it has a significant contribution to ORR and pCR, especially in node negatives.