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Hematology - Oncology

High-Dose Chemotherapy Followed by Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation as a First-Line Therapy for High-Risk Primary Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis
Published: Monday, March 12, 2012
Author: Jing Wang et al.

by Jing Wang, Qiguo Zhang, Rongfu Zhou, Bing Chen, Jian Ouyang

Background and Objectives

Several trials have generated conflicting results about the results of high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT) for primary breast cancer. This meta-analysis summarizes the available evidence from all suitable studies.

Design and Methods

Prospective, randomized trials with HDCT as a first-line therapy for primary breast cancer were included in this meta-analysis. The primary outcome of interest for our analysis was survival (disease-free survival and overall survival); secondary endpoints included treatment-related mortality (TRM) and second (non-breast) cancers. We used a median age of 47, a PR positive rate of 50% and a premenopausal rate of 70% as cutoff values to complete the subgroup analyses, which were pre-planned according to the prepared protocol.


Fourteen trials with 5747 patients were eligible for the meta-analysis. Compared with non-HDCT, non-significant second (non-breast) cancers (RR?=?1.28; 95% CI?=?0.82–1.98) and higher TRM (RR?=?3.42; 95% CI?=?1.32–8.86) were associated with HDCT for primary breast cancer. A significant DFS benefit of HDCT was documented (HR?=?0.89; 95% CI?=?0.79–0.99). No difference in OS (overall survival) was found when the studies were pooled (HR?=?0.91; 95% CI?=?0.82–1.00, p?=?0.062). In subgroup analysis, age and hormone receptor status had a significant interaction with prolonged DFS and OS.


HDCT has a benefit on DFS and OS compared to SDC in some special patients with high-risk primary breast cancer.