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RESEARCHERS ENCOURAGED BY TAXOTERE(R) (docetaxel) ACTIVITY AGAINST ANTHRACYCLINE RESISTANT BREAST CANCER

 SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Taxotere(R) (docetaxel) exhibited antitumor activity in a Phase II trial of patients with breast cancer, conducted by Peter Ravdin, assistant professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, principal investigator of the study. Data from the study was presented today at the 16th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
 During the study, patients with a history of progressive breast cancer received 100 mg/m(superscript 2) of Taxotere(R) as a one-hour outpatient infusion every 21 days (one treatment cycle). Criteria for trial participation included patients with metastatic (advanced) breast cancer resistant to doxorubicin or mitoxantrone therapy.
 To date, 28 evaluable patients received a total of 163 cycles of Taxotere(R) therapy. Objective responses were observed in 14 of 26, or 54 percent, of fully evaluable patients to date. Three of the 26, or 12 percent, demonstrated a complete response (disappearance of all disease). The response sites included the chest wall, lung, liver and soft tissue.
 "Taxotere(R) appears to be a very promising agent in the treatment of anthracycline resistant breast cancer," noted Dr. Howard A. Burris, an investigator on the study and director of Clinical Research and Development at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center Institute for Drug Development, San Antonio. "This group represents the most difficult segment of breast cancer patients to treat, which is why we are encouraged by a relatively high response rate using monotherapy." Dr. Burris is also an assistant professor, Department of Medicine/ Oncology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and director of the General Maxwell R. Thurman Drug Development University at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam, Houston.
 Toxicity was predominantly manifested by a brief grade four neutropenia.


Non-hematologic toxicity included skin rashes, stomatitis and a clinically insignificant peripheral neuropathy. Fluid retention manifested as peripheral edema or pleural effusions was noted in a group of patients not pre-medicated with steroids. In the group of patients pre-treated with steroids, this side effect appears to be significantly reduced.
 Taxotere(R) belongs to a unique class of anti-cancer agents called taxoids. Taxoids have been found to inhibit cancer cell division by acting on the cell's internal skeleton, which is made up of elements called microtubules. Microtubules assemble and disassemble during the cell cycle, but Taxotere(R) blocks the disassembly, thus preventing cancer cells from dividing.
 Located in the South Texas Medical Center, the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) is a non-profit outpatient treatment facility whose staff currently oversees 6,000 patient visits every month. At the CTRC's Institute for Drug Development (IDD), an internationally acclaimed research team works to discover, synthesize, evaluate and test new anti-cancer agents, with the goal to shorten the time needed to make these drugs available in the marketplace. CTRC is also associated with the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), the largest multidisciplinary oncology group to treat cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials in the United States.
 /delval/
 -0- 11/5/93
 /CONTACT: Jeannie Frieden of the CTRC, 210-616-5580/


CO: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer ST: Texas IN: MTC SU:

MK -- PH010 -- 1206 11/05/93 11:44 EST
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Date:Nov 5, 1993
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