HealthDay News — According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tailored dose-dense chemotherapy offers little benefit over standard chemotherapy for women with high-risk early breast cancer.

Researchers from The Swedish Breast Cancer Group, led by Jonas Bergh, MD, of the Karolinska Institute and University Hospital in Stockholm, randomly assigned 2017 women to either a standard chemotherapy group or a tailored dose-dense group. 

All of the participants had surgery for node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer.

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After 5 years, 88.7% of the dose-dense group and 85.0% of the standard group were alive and had no recurrence of cancer. In addition, the researchers found that 86.7% of the dose-dense group had event-free survival at 5 years, compared with 82.1% of the standard group. 

Those in the dose-dense group reported worse quality of life on parameters like sexual functioning and side effects such as fatigue.

“Among women with high-risk early breast cancer, the use of tailored dose-dense chemotherapy compared with standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not result in a statistically significant improvement in breast cancer recurrence-free survival,” the authors write. “Nonhematologic toxic effects were more frequent in the tailored dose-dense group.”


Foukakis T, et al. “Effect of Tailored Dose-Dense Chemotherapy vs Standard 3-Weekly Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Recurrence-Free Survival Among Women With High-Risk Early Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA. 2016. 316(18): 1888-1896. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15865.

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