Adding the drug Epirubicin to post-operative chemotherapy regimens for early stage breast cancer can significantly reduce the risk of a women dying from the disease, according to a new UK widestudy.
The results come from two major trials (NEAT and BR 9601) including 2,400 women at 75 treatment centresacross across the countrythat are published today.
Findings show thatadding Epirubicin to the established chemotherapy regimen CMF - cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil-can cut the risk of death from the disease by more than 30% compared with using CMF alone.
The results remained significant at two and four years follow up and there were no long-term adverse impact on quality of life, the authors add.
Lead author Chris Poole from the University of Birmingham said: 'The size of treatment benefit seen in these trials is dramatic and surpassed all expectations. Although some cancer centres are using Epirubicin-CMF routinely, it is still not standard across the country.'
The New England Journal of Medicine (2006)