“I was keen to go on a clinical trial. I wanted to try new cancer treatments and hopefully help future generations.”
A trial looking at weekly versus 3 weekly paclitaxel for breast cancer that has spread (Will Weekly Win)
This trial found out if it was best for people with breast cancer to have paclitaxel (Taxol chemotherapy) every week or every 3 weeks.
More about this trial
When this trial was done paclitaxel was one of the chemotherapy drugs that you might have. It is usually given once every 3 weeks.
Researchers thought that having paclitaxel once a week might be as good as having it once every 3 weeks.
To find out if it was as good, the people in this trial had paclitaxel either every week or every 3 weeks. Researchers compared the results of both treatment groups to find out which was better at stopping the cancer from coming back.
Summary of results
The trial team found that weekly paclitaxel was better at keeping advanced breast cancer under control than 3 weekly paclitaxel. But it didn’t find that people having it lived longer than those having 3 weekly treatment.
About this trial
This was a phase 3 trial. 569 people took part.
It was a randomised trial. There were 2 groups. Neither the person nor their doctor chose which group they were in:
- 278 people had weekly paclitaxel
- 291 people had 3 weekly paclitaxel
The researchers were able to look at the results of:
- 161 people from the weekly paclitaxel group
- 173 people from the 3 weekly paclitaxel group
The team looked at how well the cancer was controlled in both groups. They found that overall the best result was that it had stayed the same (stable disease).
Half the people (50%) who had weekly paclitaxel had stable disease. And 45 out of every 100 people (45.4%) in the 3 weekly paclitaxel group did.
The team also looked at the
- 160 days for those who had weekly paclitaxel
- 141 days for those who had 3 weekly paclitaxel
They said that this wasn’t
Quality of life
To see if there was a difference in the quality of life between the 2 groups the team looked at the side effect of tiredness (fatigue). They found that for both groups it wasn’t severe and the amount of tiredness was similar in both groups.
In the weekly paclitaxel group the researchers found that a drop in white blood cells called
Other side effects were the same in each group and none were severe. These included:
- feeling and being sick
- inflammation of the mouth
The team concluded that these results show that weekly paclitaxel might be:
- used in future trials
- a treatment in chemotherapy suites
They say that the small benefit in controlling the cancer needs consideration. Especially when people have it in a busy chemotherapy suite as it takes more time to give weekly paclitaxel.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Mark Verrill
Anglo Celtic Cooperative Oncology Group
Bristol Myers Squibb
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer