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Fox Chase Cancer Center Leads National Trial for New Treatment of Breast Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (January 6, 1998) -- The director of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Breast Evaluation Center, Lori J. Goldstein, M.D., has been named principal investigator in a national trial comparing the standard treatment for breast cancer following surgery with a new combination of drugs. Fox Chase is seeking patient participation immediately.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, a member of the Eastern Cooperative Group (ECOG), along with the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), and the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), supported by the National Cancer Institute, are conducting the Phase III trial.

The study compares a combination drug therapy of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Taxotere (docetaxel) with the standard treatment combination of Adriamycin and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), often used for women whose cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or who have a high risk that the cancer will spread to the nodes. The trial will determine if the combination of Adriamycin/Taxotere improves the length of time a patient is disease-free versus treatment with Adriamycin/Cytoxan. The trial will also compare overall survival and side effects related to the two treatments.

"With an estimated 181,600 new cases of breast cancer every year, finding a more effective treatment option is an urgent need," said Goldstein. "We hope that with the help of patient participants in this study, we can learn more about the effectiveness of new treatment combinations."

Early studies of Taxotere in combination with Adriamycin showed a high rate of response in patients with advanced breast disease. Taxotere, a semisynthetic taxoid, is currently approved for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has failed prior chemotherapy. Patients qualifying for this trial must not have undergone chemotherapy or radiation following breast cancer surgery.

Patient enrollment will continue until 2,778 patients are entered in the study nationally. At registration, participants will be randomized by the ECOG Coordination Center to receive one of two treatments: Adriamycin/Taxotere or Adriamycin/Cytoxan. Randomization is a process in which each patient has the same chance of being assigned to one of the two treatments. Treatment of both arms of the study will be administered once every three weeks for a cycle of four treatments.

For more information about the study or to find out about enrollment, call 1-800-4-CANCER.

ECOG, supported by funding from NCI, is dedicated to the study, prevention and cure of all forms of adult cancer. Established in 1955, ECOG includes approximately 365 university and community-based hospitals/practices and over 4,500 scientists and health care professionals. The Group's primary function is to evaluate leading treatment alternatives in multi-center clinical cancer trials.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 35 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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