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RESEARCHERS ENCOURAGED BY RESPONSE IN ADVANCED BREAST CANCER PATIENTS RECEIVING TAXOTERE (R)

 SAN ANTONIO, Texas, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Taxotere (R) (docetaxel), a new anti-cancer agent, demonstrated a 59 percent response in breast cancer patients with a history of progressive disease who had not responded to previous chemotherapy, according to research conducted by Dr. Peter M. Ravdin, medical oncologist at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Data from the Phase II study was presented at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Congress meeting today in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
 A total of 28 patients were entered in the study who had defined metastatic (advanced) disease and a history of progressive disease, despite the previous administration of either adriamycin or mitoxantrone. Both agents are commonly used to treat breast cancer. The participating patients received a total of 209 cycles of Taxotere therapy as a single agent. All patients received 100mg/m2 of Taxotere as a one hour infusion every three weeks.
 After receiving therapy, of 27 evaluable patients, a partial response was seen in 13 patients and a complete response in three patients. A partial response is defined as a 50% or greater reduction in measurable tumor size and a complete response is defined as a complete disappearance of all measurable tumor.
 "We don't think that by itself, Taxotere will be a curative therapy. However, as a single agent, Taxotere is among the best drugs tested against breast cancer in the last 20 years. We anticipate it will be used as a front-line therapy or in combination with other types of chemotherapy," said Dr. Ravdin. "The next Taxotere trial will help establish how the drug might be used in combination with -- or as an alternative to -- established therapies, such as adriamycin-based chemotherapy."
 Responses were observed in numerous sites, including the chest wall, lung, liver and soft tissue. "Taxotere appears to be a very promising agent in the treatment of anthracycline resistant patients," concluded Dr. Ravdin.
 The most common side effect noted in these patients was neutropenia, a decrease in the number of white blood cells present. A premedication regimen consisting of glucocorticoids was successfully utilized in some patients to decrease the incidence of fluid retention.
 Taxotere 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 blocks the disassembly, thus preventing cancer cells from dividing.
 Breast cancer is the most common cancer suffered by women, affecting up to one in nine women during their lives. A total of 580,000 new cases occur worldwide each year.
 The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) and The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) are partners in the San Antonio Cancer Institute (SACI), one of 57 cancer centers in the U.S. to receive designation and support from the National Cancer Institute.
 -0- 3/16/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Taxotere (R) is being developed on a worldwide basis by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (NYSE: RPR)./
 /CONTACT: Jeannie Frieden of CTRC, 210-616-5580, or Will Sansom of UTHSC, 210-567-2579/
 (RPR)


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

LJ -- PH002 -- 0568 03/16/94 08:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1994
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