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Breast Cancer: High-Dose Chemotherapy Confined to Research Trials

KEY POINT

Look for a marked downturn in use of high-dose chemotherapy for conditions such as metastatic breast cancer—and for little third party reimbursement for the procedure. The medical community first uncovered a scandal involving data allegedly falsified by a South African researcher. Now, a study to be published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine fails to show any distinct advantage for the high-dose therapy followed by stem-cell rescue.

SOURCES

Stadtmauer EA et al. Conventional-dose chemotherapy compared with high-dose chemotherapy plus autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for metastatic breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2000(Apr 13).

Lippman ME. High-dose chemotherapy plus autologous bone marrow transplantation for metastatic breast cancer [editorial]. N Engl J Med. 2000(Apr 13).