Duration of chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Journal of Clinical Oncology, 04/08/2011

Gennari A et al. – Longer first-line chemotherapy duration is associated with marginally longer OS and a substantially longer PFS.


  • Searched literature databases to identify randomized controlled trials that compared different chemotherapy durations in first-line treatment of MBC
  • Only trials with unconfounded comparisons of additional cycles of chemotherapy included
  • Main outcome measures for this analysis OS and PFS
  • Published data from retrieved studies analyzed according to standard meta-analytic techniques


  • 11 randomized clinical trials including 2,269 patients
  • Longer first-line chemotherapy duration resulted in significantly improved OS (HR 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84 to 0.99) and PFS (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.76)
  • No differences in effects on either OS or PFS between subgroups defined by time of random assignment, study design, number of chemotherapy cycles in control arm or concomitant endocrine therapy

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