Bi-weekly Paclitaxel and Capecitabine as a Second- or Third-line Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

Pirkko-Liisa Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Tuija Tuunanen, Anna-Liisa Kautio, Ilari Lehtinen, Minna Tanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Chemotherapy given every third week is currently the mainstay in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). However, bi-weekly dosing might offer a better dose intensity, with better tolerability and response rates. This hypothesis was tested in a phase II study on bi-weekly paclitaxel combined with capecitabine. Patients and Methods: Nineteen patients [median age was 60 (range: 43-68) years] with MBC were treated with paclitaxel (Taxol ®) 120 mg/m2,with 1-h infusion on days 1 and 15, and capecitabine (Xeloda ®) 2650 mg/m2/day orally given at two doses on days 1-7 and 15-21 on a 28-day cycle. Metastatic sites included the bone (68%), lung (63%) and liver (47%), and 95% of patients had more than one sites of metastasis. Results: In the response evaluation, one complete and 12 partial responses (overall response rate 68%), two stable disease cases and two progressive disease cases were observed. The median duration of response was 13.4 (range: 3.9-43.5) months. Progression-free and overall survival were 13 (95% CI=10.8-15.3) months and 23 (95% CI=17.7-29.1), respectively. A total of 140 (median 8, range 1-28) cycles were delivered. Grade 3-4 toxicity was uncommon: neutropenia was observed in 5% of the cycles: pulmonary problems in 1.4%: pain in 1.4%: and hand-and-foot syndrome, tiredness and arthralgia/myalgia, each in 0.7% of the study treatment cycles. Conclusion: Bi-weekly dosing of paclitaxel and capecitabine seems to yield promising responses in advanced breast cancer, with an acceptable adverse-event profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4941-4945
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Breast cancer
  • Capecitabine
  • Metastasis
  • Paclitaxel
  • Response

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


Dive into the research topics of 'Bi-weekly Paclitaxel and Capecitabine as a Second- or Third-line Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this