TAXANES FOR BREAST CANCER: UPDATE

An update of a rapid and systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the taxanes used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to update the previous systematic review by bringing together the most recent reliable data on the use of paclitaxel and docetaxel in both first-line and second-line treatment of advanced breast cancer.

Findings

For the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer, the evidence has not changed substantially, and suggests a potential advantage of paclitaxel and anthracycline over control but with more toxicity. There is an ongoing, multi-centre randomised controlled Phase III trial (ABO1), the findings of which should provide a clearer picture of the role of paclitaxel in first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer. First-line treatment of advanced breast cancer with single agent paclitaxel does not seem to be more, and may be less, effective than control treatment.

The evidence to support the use of paclitaxel in second-line treatment of advanced breast cancer is not strong, and no new evidence was identified for this update report. There is a slightly greater body of evidence to support the use of docetaxel as a second-line treatment of advanced breast cancer, especially among women who are resistant to 12 anthracyclines. No new evidence was identified for the update report.

Conducted by: CRD

Further details

Project page on HTA Programme website

Related guidance

Commissioned to inform NICE Technology Appraisal 30: Taxanes for the treatment of breast cancer. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence; 2001. NB: This guidance has been updated and replaced by CG81 Advanced breast cancer

Funding

Commissioned by the HTA Programme on behalf of NICE