Journal Article
. 2005 Jul;23(22).
doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.09.423.

Randomized trial comparing cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and fluorouracil with cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil in premenopausal women with node-positive breast cancer: update of National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group Trial MA5

Mark N Levine 1 Kathleen I Pritchard  Vivien H C Bramwell  Lois E Shepherd  Dongsheng Tu  Nancy Paul  National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group  
  • PMID: 16051958
  •     46 citations


Purpose: Certain anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy regimens are associated with improved relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) compared with the classic regimen of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil in women with early-stage breast cancer.

Patients And Methods: Between 1989 and 1993, 710 pre- and perimenopausal women with axillary node-positive breast cancer were randomly assigned to either cyclophosphamide 75 mg/m(2) orally days 1 through 14, epirubicin 60 mg/m(2) intravenously days 1 and 8, and fluorouracil 500 mg/m(2) intravenously days 1 and 8 (CEF) or CMF (cyclophosphamide 100 mg/m(2) orally days 1 through 14, methotrexate 40 mg/m(2) intravenously days 1 and 8, and fluorouracil 600 mg/m(2) intravenously days 1 and 8). On the basis of follow-up to May 1997 (median follow-up time, 59 months), there was a statistically significant improvement in RFS and OS for CEF compared with CMF.

Results: The trial results are now updated, with a median follow-up of 10 years for live patients. The 10-year RFS is 52% for patients who received CEF compared with 45% for CMF patients (hazard ratio [HR] for CMF v CEF = 1.31; stratified log-rank, P = .007). The 10-year OS for patients who received CEF and CMF are 62% and 58%, respectively (HR for CMF v CEF = 1.18; stratified log-rank, P = .085). The rates of acute leukemia have not changed since the original report, whereas the rates of congestive heart failure are slightly higher but acceptable (four patients [1.1%] in the CEF group v one patient [0.3%] in the CMF group).

Conclusion: The previously demonstrated benefit of CEF compared with CMF adjuvant chemotherapy is maintained with longer follow-up in the MA5 trial.

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