Overall survival benefit for weekly vs. three-weekly taxanes regimens in advanced breast cancer: A meta-analysis

Davide Mauri, Konstantinos Kamposioras, Lamprini Tsali, Magdalini Bristianou, Antonis Valachis, Ioanna Karathanasi, Christos Georgiou, Nikolaos P Polyzos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Taxanes have been extensively tested in patients with advanced breast cancer, but it is unclear whether their weekly use might offer any benefits against standard every three weeks administration. We therefore performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared weekly and every three weeks taxanes regimens in advanced breast cancer.

METHODS: The endpoints that we assessed were objective response rate, progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival. Efficacy data for paclitaxel and docetaxel were separately analyzed. Trials were located through PubMed and Cochrane Library searches and abstracts of major international conferences.

RESULTS: Omicronbjective response rate was notably better when paclitaxel was used as every three weeks regimen (7 studies, 1772 patients, fixed effect model pooled RR 1.20 95%CI 1.08-1.32 p<0.001). No difference were found for PFS (6 studies, 1610 patients, random effect model HR 1.02, 95%CI 0.81-1.30 p=0.860); while OS was statistically higher among patients receiving weekly paclitaxel (5 studies, 1471 patients, fixed effect model pooled HR 0.78, 95%CI 0.67-0.89 p=0.001). No differences were observed for the weekly compared to the every three weeks use of docetaxel either for objective response, PFS and OS. Overall, the incidence of serious adverse events, neutropenia, neutropenic fever, and peripheral neuropathy were significantly lower in weekly taxanes schedules. The incidence of nail changes and epiphora were significantly lower in the every three weeks docetaxel regimens.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of paclitaxel in weekly regimen give overall survival advantages compared with the standard every three weeks regimen. The observed survival benefit does not seem to stem from an increased potency of the drug with weekly regimens. The use of weekly paclitaxel regimens is therefore recommended for the treatment of locally advanced/metastatic breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Paclitaxel
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Survival Rate
  • Taxoids

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