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Treatment regimens containing antineoplastic antibiotics for metastatic breast cancer.

Advanced (metastatic) breast cancer is cancer that has spread outside the breast.
Treatment for metastatic disease usually includes some types of chemotherapy (anticancer drugs) to try and shrink the cancer. Chemotherapeutic agents can be prescribed as a one-way therapy or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. This is done according to a plan or course of a drug called a treatment regimen. There are many types of chemotherapy drugs that work in different ways. Anticancer antibiotics work by damaging cancer cells, thereby preventing these cells from multiplying. Chemotherapy generally causes a number of treatment-related side effects and adverse events.
Known side effects of anticancer antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, decreased white blood cell count (known as leukopenia), and, in some cases, a toxic reaction that affects heart function (called cardiotoxicity).

This review aims to identify and analyze randomized evidence comparing chemotherapy courses containing antibiotic antibiotics versus courses not containing antibiotic antibiotics. This review identified 34 eligible trials, involving 5605 women. This review found that, for women with advanced breast cancer, taking anti-tumor antibiotics does not lead to better survival than women taking other types of chemotherapy. Despite the lack of evidence for a benefit in survival rates, this review found that women taking these drugs had an advantage in time to progression (the length of time that cancer progresses after taking the drug) and tumor response (tumor shrinkage) compared to with women who have not taken anticancer antibiotics. However, the risk of side effects, including cardiotoxicity, leukopenia, and nausea / vomiting, was significantly higher in women taking anticancer antibiotics. Given that this review did not show a survival benefit for women taking this group of drugs, but a higher incidence of side effects, the use of these drugs in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer must be carefully weighed against the risk of these side effects.

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