Primary chemotherapy with epirubicin and vinorelbine in women with locally advanced breast cancer

Cecilia Nistico, Andrea De Matteis, Emanuela Rossi, Flavio Carnino, Roberto Valenza, Biagio Agostara, Emilio Bria, Antonio Farris, Marco Cremonesi, Anna Maria Dottavio, Angela Vaccaro, Carlo Garufi, Salvatore Giunta, Claudio Botti, Francesco Perrone, Edmondo Terzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To assess the activity and toxicity of primary chemotherapy with epirubicin (60 mg/m2 every other week) and vinorelbine (25 mg/m2, weekly) plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) for 12 weeks, in patients with locally advanced breast cancer in a multicenter setting. Patients and Methods: Patients with stage IIIA or IIIB breast cancer, not older than 70, were eligible. A two-stage phase II design was applied. Response was assessed clinically, instrumentally and pathologically. Results: Out of 48 enrolled patients, 87.5% received all planned cycles, with a median dose-intensity of 30 mg/m2/week for epimbicin and 23.8 mg/m 2/week for vinorelbine. A clinical or instrumental objective response was reached in 42 patients (87.5%, exact 95% CI: 74.7-95.3); significant downstaging was reached in all but one patient; 6 cases had a pathological complete response in the breast, and 2 cases in the lymph nodes too (pathological complete response rate 4.2%, exact 95% CI: 0.5-14.2); a further 2 patients had only microscopic cancer foci at pathological examination of the breast. Radiological tests underestimated the treatment effect on the breast. Toxicity was mild, neutropenia being the most frequent (grade 3-4 in 47% of patients), but never complicated with fever or sepsis. Mild constipation (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1348
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2 B
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Breast cancer
  • Epirubicin
  • Vinorelbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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