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Donna Trauth and Lori J. Goldstein

Adjuvant chemotherapy clearly demonstrates a reduction in mortality in breast cancer. However, the added benefit from the addition of taxanes remains uncertain. Paclitaxel and its cousin docetaxel have proven activity in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Toxicity has been tolerable when taxanes are used as single agents or in combination with anthracyclines. Several clinical trials are currently underway evaluating the role of taxanes in the adjuvant setting. Preliminary results from large phase III studies are promising; however, mature data are required before conclusions can be drawn. This article reviews the trials currently underway, evaluating the efficacy, dosage, scheduling, and regimens of taxanes in the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.