Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS: New Schedule for Taxane Drugs For Breast Cancer Patients

Dr. Gretchen Kimmick sits down with Selma Schimmel in The Group Room to discuss the new data for taxane drugs at ASCO, which she considers practice changing for breast medical oncologists.

This interview was filmed at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago 2013.

Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS is an Associate Professor, Duke University School Of Medicine and a Breast Medical Oncologist.

Advocacy and educational support provided at ASCO 2013, in part, by:

TGR ASCO 2013 Sponsor


Selma Schimmel, Founder & CEO, Vital Options International:

This is Selma Schimmel and you are looking live at the great city of Chicago which is once again playing host to the American Society of Clinical Oncology: ASCO.  This is ASCO’s 49th annual meeting and this year’s theme could not be more appropriate, Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer.  More than 30,000 of the world’s foremost cancer specialists are here and so is The Group Room making our 15th appearance at ASCO, and one of our very best.  Joining me now is Dr. Gretchen Kimmick- Associate Professor at Duke University School of Medicine and a breast medical oncologist.  Welcome back.

Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS, Associate Professor, Duke University School of Medicine:

Oh thank you, it’s always nice to be here.

Selma Schimmel:

As a breast oncologist, I know that one of your areas of interest that you have talked to me about is this Taxane delivery system.  I’m wondering if you can share a little bit about what we’ve learned here.

Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS:

Well, this morning at the breast cancer oral presentations we talked about schedules for Taxane administration and it turns out we’ve been using dose-dense therapy.  One study that was presented was the CLAGB study looking at AC versus Taxol and it turns out that Taxol wasn’t as good as AC.  It was actually less toxic but wasn’t as good, so that was a good thing to learn.

And then, the presentation that just followed that was actually looking at Taxane’s schedule.  They studied Taxanes given dose dense, like we do, every two weeks with growth factor support versus weekly, both of them for about 12 weeks at a time.  It turns out that they were equal in terms of efficacy, but the every two week was more toxic, more myalgias.  There was more [INAUDIBLE] in the every weekly but they were having their blood counts checked every week and their rate of complications like hospitalization and fevers and infections were still equal in the two arms.  So, a lot of us are going to go home and look at the regiments we are giving and then talk to patients now about instead of getting a schedule, which may be more tolerable of every other week coming in and getting treated, they could get weekly treatments and actually have the same outcome.  Now, I think some of my patients will still choose the every other week schedule because of the weekly visits just being very difficult since they travel a long way, but the weekly treatments are just as good and less toxic.  That was very, I think it’s going to change a lot of people’s practice.

Selma Schimmel:

Dr. Gretchen Kimmick- Associate Professor at Duke University School of Medicine and a breast medical oncologist.

Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS:

Thank you.

Selma Schimmel:

Thank you.