D Bissett, J Paul, G Wishart, D Jodrell, MA Machan, A Harnett, P Canney, WD George, S Kaye
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol)
There have been conflicting reports on the effect of prior adjuvant chemotherapy on the response of advanced breast cancer to primary chemotherapy. We report a retrospective review of the outcome of chemotherapy with epirubicin 100 mg/m2 for advanced breast cancer in 39 patients who had previously received adjuvant cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil (CMF). The response rate (complete responses plus partial responses) was 38.5%, with a median duration of response of 33 weeks. There was no significant difference in the response rate or duration of survival when these patients were compared with matched controls who had not received adjuvant chemotherapy. However, the limitations of this study were such that an adverse effect of adjuvant CMF on the response to epirubicin cannot be excluded.