Acute hematologic feasibility of G-CSF supported dose-escalated FEC therapy as adjuvant treatment after breast cancer surgery.Anticancer Res. 1999 Sep-Oct; 19(5C):4429-34.AR
A study of the feasibility of gradually increased epirubicin and cyclophosphamide dosage in an FEC regimen with G-CSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor) support in 18 high-risk breast cancer patients as adjuvant treatment was carried out. The FEC regimen was initiated with 5-fluorouracil 600 mg/m2, epirubicin 75 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 900 mg/m2 together with G-CSF 5 micrograms/kg subcutaneously on days 2-15 q 3 weeks for nine cycles, increasing individually through four dose levels to a maximum of 5-FU 600 mg/m2 (not escalated), epirubicin 120 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 1800 mg/m2. Transient cytopenias were regularly observed without major clinical complications. Rapid recovery and a biphasic overshoot of granulocytes required individualization of G-CSF support. During the 6-month treatment period, a general decline in granulocytes, platelets and haemoglobin was observed, resulting in maximal dose intensity in the middle of the treatment period. Compared to a conventional FEC regimen (5-Fluorouracil 600 mg/m2, Epirubicin 60 mg/m2, Cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m2 q 3 w) without dose reductions, it was feasible to increase the dose of epirubicin by more than 50 per cent with an increased dose intensity between 25 and 70 per cent. The dose of cyclophosphamide was increased by more than 100 per cent. All patients suffered from complete alopecia and moderate nausea, but there was no acute cardiac or severe mucosal toxicity. It was concluded that intensified, G-CSF supported FEC therapy can be safely administered in an outpatient setting, provided the patients are thoroughly informed and adequately monitored. High-risk patients are enrolled in a study comparing the described regimen and a myeloablative regimen including peripheral stem-cell support. Breast cancer seems to respond to chemotherapy in a dose dependent manner, suggesting the use of dose intensified regimens (1,8,9,11). This approach is currently under investigation in studies comparing standard regimens with myelo-ablative regimens in high-risk primary breast cancer (3,10). In a Scandinavian multicenter study (2), two high dose regimens, G-CSF supported dose-escalated FEC and myeloablative cyclophosphamide-thiotepacarboplatin with peripheral stem cell support, are compared as adjuvant therapy in operable high-risk breast cancer. This phase I study was performed to assess the feasibility and achievable dose intensity of an individually dose-escalated FEC regimen not in previous use.