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Comparable efficacy and less toxicity of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin versus epirubicin for neoadjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer: a case-control study

Authors Dong M, Luo L, Ying X, Lu X, Shen J, Jiang Z, Wang L

Received 9 January 2018

Accepted for publication 26 April 2018

Published 23 July 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 4247—4252

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S162003

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Samir Farghaly


Minjun Dong,1 Liang Luo,2 Xiaogang Ying,3 Xianqiu Lu,3 Jianguo Shen,1 Zhinong Jiang,4 Linbo Wang1

1Department of Surgical Oncology, 2Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, 3Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Pathology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Background: Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) and epirubicin are both superior variants of doxorubicin and are commonly applied as basic chemotherapeutics in breast cancer. However, the direct comparison of their efficacy and side effects has not been adequately reported. This study aimed to compare the efficacy and toxicity of PLD and epirubicin as neoadjuvant chemotherapy for invasive breast cancer.
Patients and methods: Women (n = 43) with invasive breast cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy with the regimens containing PLD (PLD group) were analyzed and 1:2 matched with those (n = 86) who received regimens containing epirubicin (epirubicin group) according to clinical TNM staging and taxane combination.
Results: The PLD group achieved similar clinical response rate in neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared to the epirubicin group (76.7% vs 75.6%). The PLD group had a lower rate of grade 3 & 4 neutropenia (30.2% vs 60.5%), vomiting (7.0% vs 28.0%), and grade 3 & 4 alopecia (9.3% vs 43.0%), yet a higher rate of mouth ulceration (46.5% vs 11.7%). For the cardiac toxicity, the PLD group had a significantly lower rate of ventricular premature beat compared with the epirubicin group (7.0% vs 20.9%, p = 0.043), and cardiac ultrasonography monitoring showed non-significantly less PLD group patients’ left ventricular ejection fraction decline more than 10% compared with the epirubicin group (4.7% vs 8.1%, p = 0.463).
Conclusion: In neoadjuvant chemotherapy for invasive breast cancer, PLD provides potentially similar efficacy and relatively less toxicity compared to epirubicin.

Keywords: neoadjuvant chemotherapy, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, epirubicin, breast cancer, efficacy

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