Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

New chemotherapy approach offers breast cancer patients a better quality of life

The study, part funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at the benefits of different chemotherapy treatment approaches and schedules to treat breast cancer: June 2017

TACT2 LOGO

New chemotherapy approach offers breast cancer patients a better quality of life

Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre and the Institute of Cancer Research, London published the results of the TACT2 clinical trial in breast cancer in the The Lancet Oncology journal.

The study, part funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at the benefits of different chemotherapy treatment approaches and schedules to treat breast cancer.

Chemotherapy treatment approaches

The TACT2 trial enrolled around 4,400 patients  who were treated with the chemotherapy drug epirubicin followed by either capecitabine or CMF, after surgery.

The trial showed that the chemotherapy drug capecitabine gave patients a better quality of life and was as effective at preventing breast cancer from returning as the alternative regimen called CMF, when given following epirubicin.

Chemotherapy schedules

This trial was also the first to look in detail at the experience of accelerated chemotherapy from the patient’s perspective, with some patients completing self-assessments of their symptoms and side effects.

The researchers tested whether having an accelerated course of epirubicin - given every two weeks instead of three - was more effective or better tolerated by patients, but the results showed that it wasn’t.

Using patient-reported data was extremely valuable because we could learn what patients find tolerable and where they struggle to cope during treatment.

This new approach to chemotherapy may benefit a range of breast cancer patients, including younger women who want to preserve their fertility.

Professor David CameronClinical Chief Investigator on TACT2, clinical director of the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre and director of cancer services in NHS Lothian

Funding

The TACT2 trial was funded by Cancer Research UK, Roche UK, Pfizer UK and Amgen UK, and co-sponsored by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and NHS Lothian.

Related links

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2017-06-06-new-chemotherapy-approach-offers-breast-cancer-patients-a-better-quality-of-life

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(17)30404-7/abstract