Health Questions and Answers

Question: How effective are chemotherapy agents in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer?

Answer:

Overall induction response rates range from 55% to 65%. Median survival times are 14-18 months. The survival rates depend more on the site of the metastatic disease than on the treatment, with visceral disease faring more poorly than bony or soft tissue metastases. Most patients receive more than one treatment regimen, since the median time to failure of most programs is about 6 months.

Reference: DeVita T Jr, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA (eds): Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 6th ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001.

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