“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A trial of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and either ixabepilone or paclitaxel as chemotherapy before surgery for early stage breast cancer (CA163100)
This trial was looking at chemotherapy with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by ixabepilone or paclitaxel before surgery for breast cancer.
Doctors usually treat early stage breast cancer with surgery. Some women have chemotherapy before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant treatment. It can shrink the cancer in the breast and may mean that you can have surgery to remove just the cancer instead of having the whole breast removed (mastectomy).
Paclitaxel was a drug that doctors could already use to treat breast cancer. Ixabepilone was a new chemotherapy drug. It works in a similar way to paclitaxel and had already been used in clinical trials for more advanced breast cancer.
The aims of this trial were to
- See how well ixabepilone worked compared to paclitaxel, following doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide before surgery for early breast cancer
- Try and find out if there are genes or proteins that can show which breast cancers are likely to respond better to ixabepilone
Summary of results
The trial showed that ixabepilone and paclitaxel worked about as well as each other.
The trial recruited women in 15 different countries. All the women taking part had doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide for 12 weeks. They were then put into 1 of 2 groups at random.
- 145 women had ixabepilone every 3 weeks for 12 weeks
- 144 had paclitaxel once a week for 12 weeks
The trial team looked at the percentage of women who had no sign of cancer in their breast or in the
- Just over 24% of the women who had ixabepilone
- Just over 25% of the women who had paclitaxel
As the difference is so small, it could have happened by chance so is not
The side effects were similar in both groups, but more women in the ixabepilone group had a drop in white blood cells that causes an increased risk of infection.
The most common side effect in both groups was numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).
Women taking part in this trial had a
The trial team concluded that neither ixabepilone or paclitaxel after doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide caused bad side effects, but there wasn’t much difference in how well the drugs worked.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Steve Chan
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer