High-dose versus standard chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer: comparison of Cancer and Leukemia Group B trials with data from the Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Breast Neoplasms; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Metastasis; Proportional Hazards Models; Survival Rate


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


PURPOSE: To assess survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) versus standard-dose chemotherapy (SDC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: SDC in four Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) trials was compared with hematopoietic stem-cell support in patients from the Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry. Cox proportional hazard regression incorporated potentially confounding effects. A total of 1,509 women were enrolled onto CALGB trials, and 1,188 women received HDC. No significant survival differences existed by CALGB trial or HDC regimen. Consideration was restricted to candidates for both SDC and HDC. The resulting sample included 635 SDC and 441 HDC patients. The outcome of interest was overall survival.

RESULTS: The HDC group displayed better performance status. The SDC group had slightly better survival in first year after treatment. The HDC group had lower hazard of death from years 1 to 4 and had somewhat higher probability of 5-year survival (adjusted probabilities [95% confidence intervals], 23% [17% to 29%] v 15% [11% to 19%], P =.03).

CONCLUSION: After controlling for known prognostic factors in this nonrandomized analysis of two large independent data sets, women receiving HDC versus SDC for metastatic breast cancer have a similar short-term probability of survival, and might have a modestly higher long-term probability of survival.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Oncol. 2002 Feb 1;20(3):743-50.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

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Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID