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BACKGROUND: Combinations of anthracycline, taxane and fluoropyrimidine are highly active in advanced breast cancer (ABC). In a phase II study of epirubicin 50 mg/m(2), docetaxel 75 mg/m(2), and infusional 5-FU 200 mg/m(2)/day, we found dose-limiting neutropenia and frequent central venous catheter complications. An alternative approach has been tested using weekly fractionation of docetaxel, and oral capecitabine. METHODS: Initially, six women with ABC were treated with epirubicin 60 mg/m(2) day 1, docetaxel 25 mg/m(2) days 1,8,15, and capecitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) twice daily days 1-14, every 21 days. Six further patients received the above with capecitabine escalated to 1,500 mg/m(2) RESULTS: Four DLTs occurred in six patients at the second dose level (febrile neutropenia in 2). There were frequent dose delays/reductions, and fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and diarrhoea were common. Overall, six of ten assessable patients achieved a partial response. CONCLUSIONS: An active regimen, but significant haematological toxicity precluded dose further escalation.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol

Publication Date





407 - 412


Administration, Oral, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Bone Neoplasms, Breast Neoplasms, Capecitabine, Deoxycytidine, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Epirubicin, Female, Fluorouracil, Humans, Infusions, Intravenous, Liver Neoplasms, Lung Neoplasms, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Prognosis, Soft Tissue Neoplasms, Survival Rate, Taxoids, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult