Commonly available drug ‘carboplatin’ increases cancer’s cure rate: Study

A recent study has revealed that a commonly available and inexpensive drug, carboplatin, increased the cure rate and survival of a very aggressive type of breast cancer, especially among young women.

According to the report by the Tata Memorial Centre, until the results of this study, there was no conclusive evidence that this drug should be routinely used as part of the treatment of this disease.

“The study was a randomised controlled trial which enrolled women with stage II-III triple negative breast cancer from 2010 to 2020. They were divided into two groups. They received chemotherapy to downstage the disease prior to surgery,” stated the report.

“Women in the standard treatment group received standard chemotherapy consisting of once per week paclitaxel for 8 weeks followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. In the platinum group, women received the same chemotherapy with the addition of injection carboplatin once per week for 8 weeks, given with paclitaxel,” stated the study.

Dr. Rajendra A. Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre, and the Principal Investigator of this study, explained the four main findings from this study.

“First, in the whole study, population cure rate (5-year disease-free survival) increased by 6.6 per cent from 64.1 per cent in the standard arm to 70.7 per cent in the platinum arm and the overall survival increased by 7.6 per cent from 66.8 per cent in the standard arm to 74.4 per cent in the platinum arm, which was statistically significant,” said Badwe.

“Second, when the results were analysed by age, the benefit of weekly carboplatin was almost exclusively confined to women younger than 50 years who had a large 12.5 per cent increase in cure rate and an 11.2 per cent gain in overall survival,” he said.

“The platinum-based chemotherapy wiped the tumor clean as assessed by pathologists in the operated breast specimen (pathological complete response) in 61 per cent of younger (</P years) patients compared with 41 per cent by standard chemotherapy. Fourth, carboplatin-based chemotherapy was well tolerated without a high rate of toxicity,” Badwe added.




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