This review aims to evaluate the role of chemotherapy-containing regimens in the treatment of advanced breast cancer (ABC), with the purpose to optimize selection, sequencing and duration of treatment with the currently available agents for clinical practice. Data from observational as well as randomized phase II and III studies were included. Chemotherapy yielded a median overall survival (OS) of 2 years in registration studies, with comparable efficacy of different agents. Combining chemotherapy agents did not yield OS improvement and caused greater toxicity compared with single-agent chemotherapy. Continuing chemotherapy till progression or unacceptable toxicity generated greater efficacy without detrimental impact on quality of life compared with a limited amount of cycles. In real-world studies, benefits after third-line chemotherapy were modest compared with first- and second-line. Furthermore, effects of previous chemotherapy predicted effects of next-line therapy in real-world. Physicians increasingly prescribed capecitabine or taxanes as first- or second-line chemotherapy over time.

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Critical Reviews in Oncology / Hematology
Department of Medical Oncology

Claessens, A.K.M. (Anouk K.M.), Ibragimova, K.I.E. (Khava I.E.), Geurts, S.M.E. (Sandra M.E.), Bos, M.M.E.M, Erdkamp, F.L.G, & Tjan-Heijnen, V.C.G. (2020). The role of chemotherapy in treatment of advanced breast cancer: an overview for clinical practice. Critical Reviews in Oncology / Hematology (Vol. 153). doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.102988