Washington: Researchers have found that adding the chemotherapy drug carboplatin or the angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin to standard chemotherapy drugs resulted in a sharp decline in women suffering from "triple-negative" breast cancer.
Study's senior author, Eric Winer, MD, chief of the division of Women's Cancers in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said that their findings suggest that carboplatin could be used either in addition to or instead of some of the drugs in the standard chemotherapy regimen for women with triple-negative breast cancer.
The current study involved 450 women with stage II or III triple-negative breast cancer. It was sponsored by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, which is part of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national clinical research network supported by the National Cancer Institute.
As a pre-surgery treatment, the women were randomly assigned to receive either standard chemotherapy (a combination of paclitaxel, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide), standard chemotherapy plus carboplatin, standard chemotherapy plus Avastin (a drug that blocks cancers from generating blood vessels), or standard chemotherapy plus both carboplatin and Avastin.
Among patients who received standard chemotherapy alone, 34 percent had their tumors disappear. That compares with 48 percent of patients in the chemotherapy plus carboplatin group, 51 percent those in the chemotherapy plus Avastin group, and 61 percent of those in the chemotherapy plus carboplatin and Avastin group.