Originally Posted by ghostyjack
You may be right.
I think we need the OP to better explain the situation, but on closer inspection, your response may be what they are after.
Unless the OP has a huge amount of files to process I would advise him to just fix the titles in the source manually and regenerate TOC, it's only 20 (searchable) entries. If he for some reason wants to keep the star instead of Chapter XX (which would be a bit confusing to the reader) your title="" method is probably better than toc.ncx regex trickery, as that will be stored in case of later TOC regenerations.