What type of chemo works best for triple negative breast cancer? If it’s early stage but has progressed to the lymph nodes, docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (TAC) was the most effective according to research published in the March 2009  Journal of Clinical Oncology.

TAC also worked well for those with luminal B who also took tamoxifen.
(Most patients know doxorubicin as Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide as Cytoxin.)
Researchers assessed different types of breast cancer to determine their value in evaluating patients’ prognoses and their responses to adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo after surgery). The types they studied:
• triple negative (estrogen receptor [ER]–negative, progesterone receptor [PR]–negative, HER2/neu [HER2]–negative).
• HER2 (HER2-positive, ER-negative, PR-negative);
• luminal B (ER-positive and/or PR-positive and either HER2-positive and/or Ki67high);
• luminal A (ER-positive and/or PR-positive and not HER2-positive or Ki67high);
They studied 1,350 patients from the Breast Cancer International Research Group (BCIRG) 001 trial. Of these:
•14.5 percent were triple negative, with a three-year disease-free survival (DFS) of 67 percent;
• 8.5 percent were HER2, with a three-year DFS of 68 percent;
• 61.1 percent were luminal B, with a three-year DFS of 82 percent;
• 15.9 percent were luminal A, with a three-year DFS of 91 percent.


Judith Hugh, John Hanson, Maggie Chon U. Cheang, Torsten O. Nielsen, Charles M. Perou, Charles Dumontet, John Reed, Maryla Krajewska, Isabelle Treilleux, Matthieu Rupin, Emmanuelle Magherini, John Mackey, Miguel Martin, Charles Vogel, “Breast Cancer Subtypes and Response to Docetaxel in Node-Positive Breast Cancer: Use of an Immunohistochemical Definition in the BCIRG 001 Trial,” Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27 (8 ), 1168-1176. 2009.

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