Docetaxel Lowers Death Rate For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer patients who take the Sanofi-Aventis drug docetaxel instead of the older medicine flurouracil cut their risk of death by 30 percent, researchers said on Wednesday. Among the women who received docetaxel, "there's no group of patients that didn't benefit, so you can't pick out someone who's not a winner from the new treatment," said study author John Mackey of the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Canada. The benefit of the docetaxel combination "was so large and so striking, it's turned a lot of heads. It's a high water mark for chemotherapy. It has catapulted the (docetaxel) regimen into being a standard of care," Mackey told Reuters. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 1,491 women across 20 countries whose tumors had spread to at least one lymph node. Each drug was used in combination with two other commonly used anti-cancer medicines, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.

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