A randomized trial comparing 12 weeks versus 36 weeks of adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II breast cancer.
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A randomized trial has been performed in which women with axillary node-positive breast cancer were allocated to either a short intensive 12-week chemohormonal treatment consisting of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil, vincristine, prednisone, Adriamycin (doxorubicin; Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH), and tamoxifen (CMFVP plus AT) or 36 weeks of CMFVP. The median follow-up is 37 months. Of the 222 women randomized to the 12-week treatment, 113 (50.9%) have experienced either recurrence or death as compared with 90 patients (41.9%) in the 36-week treatment group. The corresponding 3-year relapse-free survivals are 55% and 64%, respectively, P = .003. Fifty-nine (26.6%) of the patients in the 12-week group have died compared with 46 (21.4%) of the 36-week group. The corresponding 3-year survival rates are 78% and 85%, respectively, P = .04. A Cox regression analysis showed an associated increased risk ratio for recurrence or death of 1.7, P = .003, and for death of 1.8, P = .017 in the 12-week treatment group compared with the 36-week group. Thus, this 12-week regimen of adjuvant chemohormonal therapy is inadequate treatment for women with axillary node-positive breast cancer; possible explanations for this inferiority are its shorter duration and/or a negative interaction of tamoxifen on the chemotherapy.
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