Bendamustine hydrochloride is a novel alkylating agent. In this multicenter study, the authors evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of single-agent bendamustine in patients with rituximab-refractory, indolent B-cell lymphoma.
Eligible patients (N = 100, ages 31-84 years) received bendamustine at a dose of 120 mg/m2 by intravenous infusion on Days 1 and 2 every 21 days for 6 to 8 cycles. Histologies included follicular (62%), small lymphocytic (21%), and marginal zone (16%) lymphomas. Patients had received a median of 2 previous regimens (range, 0-6 previous regimens), and 36%were refractory to their most recent chemotherapy regimen. Primary endpoints included overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR). Secondary endpoints were safety and progression-free survival (PFS).
An ORR of 75% (a 14% complete response rate, a 3% unconfirmed complete response rate, and a 58% partial response rate) was observed. The median DOR was 9.2 months, and median PFS was 9.3 months. Six deaths were considered to be possibly treatment related. Grade 3 or 4 (determined using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria [version 3.0.19]. reversible hematologic toxicities included neutropenia (61%), thrombocytopenia (25%), and anemia (10%). The most frequent nonhematologic adverse events (any grade) included nausea (77%), infection (69%), fatigue (64%), diarrhea (42%), vomiting (40%), pyrexia (36%), constipation (31%), and anorexia (24%).
Single-agent bendamustine produced a high rate of objective responses with acceptable toxicity in patients with recurrent, rituximab-refractory indolent B-cell lymphoma.
bendamustine; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; B-cell lymphoma; rituximab-refractory; clinical trial
To identify a group of patients who might benefit from the addition of weekly paclitaxel to conventional anthracycline-containing chemotherapy as adjuvant therapy of node-positive operable breast cancer. The predictive value of PAM50 subtypes and the 11-gene proliferation score contained within the PAM50 assay were evaluated in 820 patients from the GEICAM/9906 randomized phase III trial comparing adjuvant FEC to FEC followed by weekly paclitaxel (FEC-P). Multivariable Cox regression analyses of the secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) were performed to determine the significance of the interaction between treatment and the (1) PAM50 subtypes, (2) PAM50 proliferation score, and (3) clinical and pathological variables. Similar OS analyses were performed in 222 patients treated with weekly paclitaxel versus paclitaxel every 3 weeks in the CALGB/9342 and 9840 metastatic clinical trials. In GEICAM/9906, with a median follow up of 8.7 years, OS of the FEC-P arm was significantly superior compared to the FEC arm (unadjusted HR = 0.693, p = 0.013). A benefit from paclitaxel was only observed in the group of patients with a low PAM50 proliferation score (unadjusted HR = 0.23, p < 0.001; and interaction test, p = 0.006). No significant interactions between treatment and the PAM50 subtypes or the various clinical–pathological variables, including Ki-67 and histologic grade, were identified. Finally, similar OS results were obtained in the CALGB data set, although the interaction test did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.109). The PAM50 proliferation score identifies a subset of patients with a low proliferation status that may derive a larger benefit from weekly paclitaxel.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2416-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Paclitaxel; PAM50 subtypes; PAM50 proliferation score; Prediction of paclitaxel efficacy
The goal of treatment for patients with advanced breast cancer is to prolong survival, control symptoms, and reduce disease-related complications. Despite the introduction of many cytotoxic agents during the past decade, only modest improvement in survival in metastatic breast cancer has been achieved. In order to improve this situation, new cytotoxic drugs as well as molecule-targeted agents are now under investigation. Bendamustine is a bifunctional alkylating agent with cytotoxic activity against several types of solid tumors. In the search for new anthracycline-free combinations, taxanes and alkylating agents might be worth investigating, in order to reduce cardiac toxicity. In this article, we reviewed the latest information regarding antitumor activity, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and clinical application of bendamustine as a cytotoxic agent in metastatic breast cancer.
Bendamustine; First-line chemotherapy; Metastatic breast cancer
Triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) frequently have high epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and are sensitive to DNA-damaging agents. Improved therapies are needed for this aggressive malignancy.
Patients and methods
We performed a phase I trial of bendamustine and erlotinib, an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with metastatic TNBC, ECOG performance status ≤2, and ≤1 prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Each 28-day cycle included intravenous bendamustine on days 1, 2 and oral erlotinib on days 5–21 with dose escalation according to a 3 + 3 phase I study design. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was determined by toxicities related to study therapy observed during cycle 1.
Eleven patients were treated, 5 on dose level 1 and 6 on dose level 2. One patient had DLT on dose level 2. However, cumulative toxicities were observed, including grade 3/4 lymphopenia in 91 % (95 % CI 0.59–0.998) with progressively decreased CD4 counts and grade ≥3 infections in 36 % (95 % CI 0.11–0.69) of patients.
Combination therapy with bendamustine and erlotinib causes excessive toxicity with severe, prolonged lymphopenia, depressed CD4 counts, and opportunistic infections and should not be pursued further. Future trials of bendamustine combinations in TNBC patients should account for potential cumulative lymphocyte toxicity necessitating patient monitoring during and after treatment.
Bendamustine; Erlotinib; Lymphopenia; Triple negative breast cancer; Metastatic breast cancer
Bendamustine (Treanda, Ribomustin) was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of patients with rituximab refractory indolent lymphoma and is expected to turn into a frontline therapy option for indolent lymphoma. This compound with amphoteric properties was designed in the former Germany Democratic Republic in 1960s and re-discovered in 1990s with multiple successive well-designed studies. Bendamustine possesses a unique mechanism of action with potential antimetabolite properties, and only partial cross-resistance with other alkylators. Used in combination with rituximab in vitro, bendamustine shows synergistic effects against various leukemia and lymphoma cell lines. In clinical studies, bendamustine plus rituximab is highly effective in patients with relapsed-refractory indolent lymphoma, inducing remissions in 90% or more and a median progression-free survival of 23–24 months. The optimal dosing and schedule of bendamustine administration is largely undecided and varies among studies. Results of ongoing trials and dose-finding studies will help to further help ascertain the optimal place of bendamustine in the management of indolent NHL.
bendamustine; indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; follicular lymphoma; novel therapy; lympho-proliferative disorders
The objective of this paper is to review the data supporting the use of docetaxel in the treatment of breast cancer, focusing on pharmacokinetics, efficacy in adjuvant and metastatic trials alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic and targeted agents, and the toxicity of docetaxel in comparison to paclitaxel. Docetaxel is a semisynthetic product derived from the European yew tree Taxus baccata L. It promotes the assembly of microtubules, stabilizes them, and thereby prevents their depolymerization. Docetaxel has been incorporated into neo-adjuvant chemotherapy regimens, both with and without anthracyclines. The inclusion of taxanes such as docetaxel in polychemotherapy regimens in early breast cancer is associated with a statistically significant reduction in mortality. As a single agent, docetaxel is highly active in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer, the combination of docetaxel and capecitabine was associated with an improvement in overall survival; however, toxicity was higher. The toxicity profile of docetaxel has been well documented and is predictable; the most frequent adverse effects are neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. Taxane-specific adverse effects, such as peripheral neuropathy, are also expected but are manageable with appropriate dosing and scheduling.
taxanes; docetaxel; clinical trial; adverse effects; peripheral neuropathy; neutropenia
Whether combination chemotherapy offers an advantage over sequential therapy in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is still an unsettled issue. Polychemotherapy regimens containing taxanes has been shown to increase overall survival (OS), time to tumor progression (TTP), and overall response rate (ORR) when compared with regimens that did not contain a taxanes, while taxane-based doublets have a statistically significant benefit over single-agent taxane only for progression-free survival. However, the term “taxanes” generally includes both paclitaxel and docetaxel, drugs with different clinical activity. Aim of this work is to compare OS, TTP, and ORR in patients with MBC receiving docetaxel alone or in combination with chemotherapy using a formal meta-analysis.
We performed a systematic review of all published trials comparing docetaxel alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in MBC.
Three randomized clinical trials including 1,313 patients were retrieved. A significant reduction of risk ratio was found in TTP (P ≤ 0.0001) but not in OS (P = 0.48) or ORR (P = 0.10) for patients treated with a chemotherapy agent plus docetaxel compared with docetaxel alone. Treatment with docetaxel alone is associated with a lower incidence of grade 3 diarrhea and stomatitis (diarrhea, P = 0.011; stomatitis, P = 0.0004).
Combination chemotherapy regimens with docetaxel show a statistically significant advantage for TTP, but not for OS and ORR in MBC. This review confirms that it is unlikely that any single agent or combination chemotherapy regimen will emerge as superior in MBC, due to its heterogeneous nature.
Metastatic breast cancer; Meta-analysis; Docetaxel; Taxanes
Taxanes are regarded as the most effective single agents in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). For conventional taxanes, crucial toxicities and impairments in clinical efficacy are related to solvents necessary because of the agents’ hydrophobicity. The mandatory premedication with corticosteroids causes additional side effects. Nab-paclitaxel is a solvent-free colloidal suspension of paclitaxel and human serum albumin that exploits the physiological transport properties of albumin. It is registered as monotherapy with a recommended dose of 260 mg/m2 every 3 weeks for the treatment of patients with MBC, who have failed a first-line treatment of metastatic disease and for whom a standard anthracycline treatment is not indicated. Clinical evidence is available for the registered 3-weekly administration and for alternative weekly schedules in first and further lines of therapy of patients with MBC. During an advisory board meeting, a group of 8 German breast cancer experts reviewed the clinical data of nab-paclitaxel in MBC and discussed how nab-paclitaxel could be used in clinical practice on the basis of the current data.
First-line therapy; Metastatic breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Weekly; nab-Paclitaxel; Paclitaxel; Docetaxel
The purpose of this study was to investigate the activity of capecitabine and trastuzumab in patients with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast caner resistant to both anthracyclines and taxanes.
From June 2003 and May 2006, 40 female patients with measurable or assessable metastatic breast cancer were enrolled and data from 38 patients were reviewed extramurally and analyzed. Patients were treated with weekly trastuzumab given at a dose of 2 mg/kg/day over 90 min (4 mg/kg/day on the first infusion) and capecitabine given at a dose 1,657 mg/m2/day during 21 days with a subsequent pause of 7 days. This cycle was repeated every 28 days. The primary endpoint was overall survival and secondary endpoints were progression-free survival and response rate.
A median of 4.5 cycles (range 1–9 cycles) were delivered. The median age was 53 (range 30–69 years). Median overall survival and progression-free survival was 22.3 and 4.1 months, respectively. Survival rate at 1 and 2 year was 81.6 and 47.4%, respectively. Response rate was 18.4% (95% CI, 7.7–34.3%). All evaluable patients have responded with two CR (5.3%), 5 PR (13.2%), 20 SD (52.6%), 8 PD (21.1%) and 3 NE (7.9%). Regarding the hematological toxicities, grade 1/2/3 neutropenia, grade 1/2 anemia, grade 1 thrombocytopenia and grade 1/2 liver dysfunction were also common. No treatment-related death was reported.
The combination of capecitabine and trastuzumab is active and well-tolerated in patients with HER2-overexpressing breast caner resistant to both anthracyclines and taxanes.
Phase II study; Capecitabine; Trastuzumab; Metastatic breast caner
Median survival time was longer than 1 year in recent randomized phase III studies in advanced or recurrent gastric cancer (GC) conducted in Japan. Although progression-free survival after first-line chemotherapy has improved, many patients go on to receive second-line or later therapies with new agents such as paclitaxel or docetaxel, which may contribute to prolongation of overall survival. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of weekly paclitaxel as third-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced or recurrent GC.
Materials and Methods:
Eligibility criteria were histologically proven advanced or recurrent GC, treatment with two previous regimens including S-1 and irinotecan, age >20 years, performance status (PS) 0–2, adequate organ function, and informed consent. Patients received paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of each 4-week cycle until disease progression occurred. Primary end point is feasibility and secondary end points are safety, overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), time to treatment failure (TTF), and relative dose intensity.
A total of 22 patients, 18 males and 4 females, with median age of 60 years (range, 54–82 yrs), 2/19/1 in PS 0/1/2, were enrolled between December 2006 and September 2008. All patients had received first-line chemotherapy including S-1 and second-line treatment including irinotecan. Patients received a median of four (range, 1–12) cycles of treatment. Reasons for discontinuation were disease progression in 18 and withdrawal in 4 patients. Grade 3 adverse events included neutropenia in 3 patients (14%), anemia in 1 (4%), and appetite loss in 1 (4%) patient. Overall response rate was 14%, disease control (PR+SD) rate was 77%, median TTF was 79 days, median PFS was 78 days, and median overall survival has not been reached.
A weekly regimen of paclitaxel was well tolerated and achieved a good disease control rate, and acceptable TTF considering the advanced or recurrent GC patient population. Follow-up is ongoing and final survival data are pending.
Lapatinib, an oral, reversible inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) tyrosine kinase, has proven antitumor activity in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. This was an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, Phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nab-paclitaxel plus lapatinib in women with HER2 over-expressing MBC who had received no more than one prior chemotherapeutic regimen. The primary efficacy endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR). This was defined as the percentage of patients having either a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR). Secondary efficacy endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, duration of response (DoR), time to response (TTR), and time to progression (TTP). Investigator-assessed ORR was 53 % (n = 32, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 40.7–66.0) with the majority of patient responses demonstrating a PR (47 %). Four (7 %) patient responses demonstrated a CR, and ten (17 %) a stable disease. The median Kaplan–Meier estimate of investigator-assessed PFS, DoR, TTR, and TTP was 39.7 weeks (95 % CI 34.1–63.9), 48.7 weeks (95 % CI 31.7–57.1), 7.8 weeks (95 % CI 7.4–8.1), and 41 weeks (95 % CI 39.1–64.6), respectively. Lapatinib 1,000 mg with nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 IV is feasible with manageable and predictable toxicity and an ORR of 53 % comparing favorably with other HER2-based combinations in this setting.
Breast cancer; HER2; Lapatinib; Nab-paclitaxel
To evaluate the pathologic complete response (pCR) rates and relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) of patients receiving neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) with trastuzumab in combination with an anthracycline- or a non-anthracycline-based regimen.
In this retrospective non-randomized study, we reviewed records of 300 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with either sequential paclitaxel and trastuzumab and FEC75 in combination with trastuzumab (PH-FECH) or docetaxel, carboplatin and trastuzumab (TCH). The Kaplan-Meier product-limit method was used to estimate RFS and OS rates. Logistic regression models and Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine the associations between NST, pCR and survival.
There was no significant difference in the decline in cardiac ejection fraction, however, patients who received PH-FECH had less cardiac comorbidities at baseline (P = 0.002). pCR rates were 60.6% and 43.3% for patients who received PH-FECH(n=235) and TCH(n=65), respectively (P=0.016). Patients who received PH-FECH were 1.45 times more likely to have a pCR (Odds ratio [OR]:1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI):1.06-1.98; P=0.02). Three-year RFS rates were 93% and 71% (P<0.001), and 3-year OS rates were 96% and 86% (P=0.008) for patients who received PH-FECH and TCH, respectively. Patients who received PH-FECH had a lower risk of recurrence (Hazard ratio [HR]:0.27; 95% CI:0.12-0.60; P=0.001) and death (HR:0.37; 95% CI:0.12-1.13; P=0.08) than those treated with TCH.
The type of NST in HER2-positive breast cancer is predictive of pCR rate independent of disease and patient characteristics. While TCH is active, PH-FECH shows a higher pCR rate and RFS advantage.
HER2-positive breast cancer; neoadjuvant therapy; trastuzumab; anthracyclines; pCR; survival
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has a poor prognosis compared to other subtypes and lacks common therapeutic targets, including HER 2 and the estrogen and progesterone receptors. The clinicopathological heterogeneity of the disease and limited treatment options make clinical management particularly challenging. Here we present the results of a survey of Canadian clinical oncologists regarding treatment of TNBC, and review recent and ongoing clinical research in this area. Our survey results show that the majority of respondents use a combination of anthracyclines-taxanes as adjuvant therapy for early TNBC. For the first-line treatment of metastatic TNBC, most clinicians recommend taxanes, while single agent capecitabine and platinum-based therapies are more common for subsequent lines of therapy. Despite the ongoing development of novel targeted therapies, chemotherapy remains the mainstay of treatment for TNBC.
Triple-negative; basal-like; breast neoplasms; cancer treatment; clinical opinion; clinical research; chemotherapy; targeted therapy
The 3-weekly combination of trastuzumab and paclitaxel has been approved for the treatment of advanced breast cancer based on a large pivotal study. However, mono and combination chemotherapy trials suggest that weekly paclitaxel has a better therapeutic index, especially in the palliative setting. The present trial examined the efficacy and safety of weekly paclitaxel over a limited duration combined with continued trastuzumab in HER2+ patients.
Patients with histologically confirmed metastatic breast cancer overexpressing HER2 were eligible if pretreated with anthracycline in either the adjuvant or palliative setting. Treatment consisted of weekly trastuzumab (2 mg/kg/week for up to one year after a loading dose of 4 mg/kg in week 1) and paclitaxel (90 mg/m², administered in weeks 1–6 and 8–13).
Twenty-seven German centers enrolled 121 patients. The median number of metastatic sites was two (range 1–5); 38% of patients had received chemotherapy for advanced disease. After a median 42 weeks of trastuzumab treatment, limited by disease progression in roughly half the patients, a best objective response rate (complete response + partial response) of 76% was achieved, including complete remissions in 29%. 74% of patients lived without tumor progression at six months. Median progression-free and overall survival were 9.4 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.1–11.3) and 22 months (95% CI: 17–46). After alopecia, Common Toxicity Criteria grade ≥2 toxicity was predominantly hematological (leukopenia [31%] and anemia [41%]); however, thrombocytopenia occurred in only 5%. Neurotoxicity was remarkably low. Two cardiac events (grades 2 and 3) were presumed treatment-related.
Weekly paclitaxel plus trastuzumab allows an increased dose density and offers an attractive and effective alternative to the conventional schedule. Limiting the duration of cytotoxic therapy to 3 months seems to be an option to reduce neurotoxicity without impairing long-term outcome.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is characterized by negativity for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), is a high risk breast cancer that lacks specific targets for treatment selection. Chemotherapy is, therefore, the primary systemic modality used in the treatment of this disease, but reliable parameters to predict the chemosensitivity of TNBC have not been clinically available.
A total of 190 TNBC patients who had undergone a curative resection of a primary breast cancer were enrolled. The adjuvant chemotherapy was performed for 138 (73%) of 190 TNBC cases; 60 cases had an anthracyclin-based regimen and 78 a 5-fluorouracil-based regimen. The prognostic value of E-cadherin, Ki67 and p53 expression in the outcome of TNBC patients with adjuvant chemotherapy was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
The adjuvant therapy group, especially those with Stage II TNBC, had a more favorable prognosis than the surgery only group (P = 0.0043), while there was no significant difference in prognosis between the anthracyclin-based regimen and 5-fluorouracil-based regimen. Patients with E-cadherin-negative and Ki67-positive expression showed significantly worse overall survival time than those with either E-cadherin-positive or Ki67-negative expression (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the combination of E-cadherin-negative and Ki67-positive expression was strongly predictive of poor overall survival (P = 0.004) in TNBC patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. In contrast, p53 status was not a specific prognostic factor.
Adjuvant therapy is beneficial for Stage II TNBC patients. The combination of E-cadherin and Ki67 status might be a useful prognostic marker indicating the need for adjuvant chemotherapy in Stage II TNBC patients.
chemosensitivity; E-cadherin; Ki67; predictive marker; triple-negative breast cancer
To review available data using bendamustine alone and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
Internet database searches and literature review.
Bendamustine was approved in March 2008 by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Many trials have been performed over the last decade using bendamustine not only as monotherapy, but also in combination with other agents including rituximab, vincristine, mitoxantrone, fludarabine, and other agents as therapy for patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and recently was approved for use in therapy of patients with relapsed indolent lymphomas considered refractory to rituximab therapy. As monotherapy, bendamustine induces good responses with only minor side effects. In combination with other agents, efficacy improves, especially when given in combination with rituximab. The drug has also been studied in combination with rituximab as initial therapy for indolent lymphomas, and has excellent activity with less toxicity than R-CHOP (rituximab – cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin [Adriamycin], Oncovin [vincristine], and prednisone/prednisolone).
Overall, bendamustine has demonstrated promising results as therapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and should be included in the armamentarium of agents used to treat relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and may prove valuable as initial therapy for these diseases. Further studies are being conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of this drug in combination with other agents.
bendamustine; non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas; relapsed lymphoma
Anthracyclines (A) and taxanes (T) are standard first-line chemotherapy agents for patients with advanced breast cancer. Platinum analogues have also shown activity in the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) histology, but clinical data are limited. Here we report the long-term follow-up of a phase II study on TNBC treated with a combined modality therapy, including induction with AT, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (CMF) with concurrent radiation therapy, and a dose-dense consolidation chemotherapy (HDCT) with carboplatin (CBDCA), ifosfamide (IFX), etoposide (VP-16). Patients' median age was 44 years, with 73% premenopausal. Epirubicin 75 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 were administered to 70 patients with TNBC: as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy to 12 and 58 patients, respectively. Postoperative radiation therapy, 5000 cGy, was delivered, synchronous with triweekly CMF. After radiation therapy, two courses of HDCT with CBDCA, IFX, VP-16, were given, with hematological growth factors. After a median follow-up of 81 months, all patients were evaluable for toxicity and response. Most important toxicity were grade 3 skin reaction and grade 4 hematological in 3% and 31% of patients, respectively. Pathological complete response was observed in 25% of patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy. Treatment failures were as follows: eight visceral, four contralateral breast cancer, four locoregional, and one leukemia. Five-year progression-free survival and overall survival rate were 78% and 91%, respectively. Induction chemotherapy, followed by chemoradiation therapy and HDCT, provides a prolonged disease-free period and a significant increase in overall survival in TNBC, with an acceptable toxicity profile.
Concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy; high-dose chemotherapy; platinum analogues; triple-negative breast cancer
Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) has demonstrated clinical benefit in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in a randomized phase III trial versus paclitaxel (CA012; N = 454) and in a randomized phase II trial versus docetaxel (CA024; N = 300). This retrospective analysis examines whether patients with poor prognostic factors demonstrate similar outcomes to the intent-to-treat (ITT) populations in these trials. This retrospective analysis evaluated the efficacy and safety of previously untreated patients with MBC with the following poor prognostic factors: visceral dominant metastases and short disease-free interval (DFI; ≤2 years). In CA012 (n = 186 first-line patients), nab-paclitaxel demonstrated a significantly higher overall response rate (ORR) versus paclitaxel in patients with visceral dominant metastases (42 vs. 23 %; P = 0.022), whereas the higher ORR for nab-paclitaxel in patients with a short DFI (43 vs. 33 %; P = NS) was not statistically significant. In CA024, a significantly higher ORR for nab-paclitaxel 150 mg/m2 versus docetaxel was observed in patients with visceral dominant metastases (76 vs. 37 %; P < 0.001). No significant differences in ORR were observed in patients with a short DFI. Although progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival showed trends similar to ORR, statistical significance was only achieved for comparisons of PFS in patients with visceral dominant metastases in CA024 (13.1 months for nab-paclitaxel 150 mg/m2 vs. 7.8 months for docetaxel [P = 0.019] and 7.5 months for nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 [P = 0.010]). Safety results were similar to previous reports of the ITT populations. nab-Paclitaxel demonstrated similar efficacy in patients with poor prognostic factors as in the ITT populations of these two trials. In each trial, ORR was significantly higher for nab-paclitaxel versus the comparator taxane among patients with visceral dominant metastases.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2447-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
nab-Paclitaxel; Visceral disease; Metastatic breast cancer; Taxanes
Combinations of capecitabine and a taxane are highly active in metastatic breast cancer, and synergy between capecitabine and docetaxel has also been demonstrated. Such combinations potentially would provide a promising non–anthracycline-based alternative for patients with early breast cancer. Non-anthracycline preoperative regimens are a particularly interesting proposition in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, as they offer less cardiotoxicity and thus can be used concomitantly with preoperative trastuzumab therapy. Capecitabine plus docetaxel (XT) and trastuzumab with XT (HXT) are promising non-anthracycline regimens for the preoperative treatment of women with HER2-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer, respectively. The Xeloda in Neoadjuvant (XeNA) trial, an open-label, multicenter, phase II study, independently assesses the efficacy of preoperative XT in HER2-negative and HXT in HER2-positive breast cancer. A particularly important feature of the XeNA study is the use of pathologic complete response (pCR) plus near pCR (npCR) as the primary endpoint. pCR is associated with long-term survival, and although it is valuable as a surrogate marker, pCR has some limitations. Measurement of residual breast cancer burden (RCB) has been proposed as a more practical alternative to predict survival after preoperative chemotherapy. The combination of RCB-0 and RCB-I (npCR) expands the subset of patients shown to benefit from preoperative chemotherapy, and achievement of pCR or npCR is associated with long disease-free survival. In XeNA, the sum of pCR and npCR will facilitate correlative studies designed to identify patients most likely to benefit from XT and HXT and may expedite the clinical evaluation of these novel preoperative regimens.
Pathologic complete response; Breast-conserving surgery; Taxane; Anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity
Background: Among the presently available cytotoxic drugs, paclitaxel, in combination with doxorubicin and carboplatin, come under the highly active therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Between the two brands of paclitaxel (Intaxel, which is marketed by Fresenius Kabi and Taxol, the original paclitaxel which is manufactured by BMS) the similarity has not been evaluated in clinical trial settings till date. This prospective, controlled, randomized, multicentre, open-label phase IV study was planned to compare the safety and efficacy of Intaxel with Taxol, when they were used in combination with carboplatin or doxorubicin, as a second line treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Methods: Fourty nine eligible patients were randomized to receive Intaxel or Taxol with either doxorubicin or carboplatin. The patients who had received a prior anthracycline based chemotherapy were randomized to the paclitaxel/carboplatin arm. The patients were evaluated in three phases i.e. at baseline, during the treatment and at follow up for the tumour response, the time period till the disease progression and the toxicity. The time till the disease progression was assessed by the Kaplan–Meier method. The continuous and categorical variables were assessed by using the ANOVA test and Fisher’s exact test, respectively.
Results: After 3 cycles, an objective response rate of 55.56% (CR = 3, PR = 7) was noted in the Intaxel group and that of 59.09% (CR = 1, PR = 12) was noted in the Taxol group. After 6 cycles, an objective response rate of 50% was noted in both the groups. No significant difference was observed in the response rate of the two groups after 3 cycles (p > 0.05) and at the end of the treatment (p > 0.05). The patients who received Intaxel had a lower incidence of thrombocytopaenia (p = 0.0146) and neurosensory loss (p = 0.008) as compared to those who received Taxol.
Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrated that the safety and efficacy of Intaxel and Taxol are equivalent when they are used in combination with other cytotoxic agents as the second line of treatment for metastatic stage IV breast cancer.
Intaxel; Taxol; Paclitaxel; Metastatic breast cancer
Resistance to chemotherapy is a major obstacle to the effective treatment of many tumor types. Although many anticancer therapies can alter tumor growth, in most cases the effect is not long lasting. Consequently, there is a significant need for new agents with low susceptibility to common drug resistance mechanisms in order to improve response rates and potentially extend survival. Approximately 30% of the women diagnosed with early-stage disease in turn progress to metastatic breast cancer, for which therapeutic options are limited. Current recommendations for first-line chemotherapy include anthracycline-based regimens and taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel). They typically give response rates of 30 to 70% but the responses are often not durable, with a time to progression of 6 to 10 months. Patients with progression or resistance may be administered capecitabine, gemcitabine, vinorelbine, albumin-bound paclitaxel, or ixabepilone, while other drugs are being evaluated. Response rates in this setting tend to be low (20 to 30%); the median duration of responses is <6 months and the results do not always translate into improved long-term outcomes. The present article reviews treatment options in taxane-resistant metastatic breast cancer and the role of ixabepilone in this setting.
There is currently no standardized therapy available for metastatic breast cancer in patients with aromatase inhibitor (AI)-resistant breast cancer. We conducted a prospective study to examine the efficacy and safety of high-dose toremifene (TOR) treatment for the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer following AI adjuvant therapy. A multicenter phase II study was designed (Registry no.: UMIN000000489). Inclusion criteria comprised hormone-responsive postmenopausal women who had received adjuvant AI postoperatively for >1 year and had relapsed during the treatment or within 12 months of completion of adjuvant therapy. Treatment comprised oral intake of 120 mg TOR once a day. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). The secondary endpoints were evaluations of clinical benefit (CB), progression-free survival (PFS) and toxicity. A total of 13 patients were enrolled. ORR was 7.7% (1/13) [95% CI, 0.2–36.0%]. In total, 7 patients (53.8%) had stable disease (SD), 5 of whom were long SD, and 5 patients (38.5%) experienced progressive disease (PD). The CB rate was 46.2% (6/13) [95% CI, 19.2–74.9%]. The median time to PFS was 5.9 months. No serious adverse events were observed. Patients with HER2-positive disease exhibited marginally poorer PFS (p=0.08). Patients with PD had a relatively short duration of AI treatment in contrast to responders, who had a longer period of AI treatment (p=0.02). High-dose TOR as a first-line treatment following AI adjuvant therapy was effective and well tolerated. A longer duration of adjuvant AI therapy and negative HER2 overexpression may, with further studies, be beneficial as positive predictive factors for the effectiveness of TOR treatment.
breast cancer; aromatase inhibitor resistant; toremifene
Patients with metastatic breast cancer are frequently treated with anthracyclines and taxanes, which are among the most active agents in this disease. Gemcitabine is an interesting candidate for a three-drug combination because of its different mechanism of action and non-overlapping toxicity with respect to the other two drugs. We aimed to evaluate the activity and toxicity of the GAT (gemcitabine, doxorubicin and paclitaxel) regimen, derived from experimental preclinical studies, as first-line chemotherapy in patients with stage IIIB-IV breast cancer.
Patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer and at least one bidimensionally measurable lesion were included in the present study. Adequate bone marrow reserve, normal cardiac, hepatic and renal function, and an ECOG performance status of 0 to 2 were required. Only prior adjuvant non anthracycline-based chemotherapy was permitted. Treatment consisted of doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 on day 1, paclitaxel 160 mg/m2 on day 2 and gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on day 6, repeated every 21–28 days.
Thirty-three consecutive breast cancer patients were enrolled onto the trial (7 stage IIIB and 26 stage IV). All patients were evaluable for toxicity and 29 were assessable for response. A total of 169 cycles were administered, with a median of 6 cycles per patient (range 1–8 cycles). Complete and partial responses were observed in 6.9% and 48.3% of patients, respectively, for an overall response rate of 55.2%. A response was reported in all metastatic sites, with a median duration of 16.4 months. Median time to progression and overall survival were 10.2 and 36.4 months, respectively. The most important toxicity was hematological, with grade III-IV neutropenia observed in 69% of patients, sometimes requiring the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (27%). Non hematological toxicity was rare and mild. One patient died from sepsis during the first treatment cycle before the administration of gemcitabine.
The strong synergism among the three drugs found in the preclinical setting was confirmed in terms of both clinical activity and hematological toxicity. Our results seem to indicate that the GAT regimen is effective in anthracycline-naïve metastatic breast cancer and provides a feasible chemotherapeutic option in this clinical setting.
In recent years, therapies for follicular lymphoma (FL) have steadily improved. A series of phase III trials comparing the effect of rituximab with chemotherapy vs chemotherapy alone in treating FL have indicated significant improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival. Recent studies have found that prolonged response durations and PFS were obtained with maintenance therapy using rituximab or interferon after completion of first line therapy. For patients with relapsed or refractory FL, phase II studies have assessed the effectiveness of combination therapies using a Toll-like receptor-9 agonist (1018ISS), oblimersen sodium (a Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide), bendamustine, and rituximab, as well as veltuzumab, a new humanized anti-CD20 antibody, and epratuzumab. In addition, the effectiveness of yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan and iodine-131 tositumomab as radioimmunotherapies has been reported. Furthermore, three phase III studies on an idiotype vaccine are near completion. Unfortunately, these vaccines, which appeared highly effective in phase I and II trials, do not appear to result in prolonged PFS. This report will summarize the current knowledge on therapies for treatment of FL, and will conclude with a brief discussion of feasible future options for effective treatments. Lastly, we added descriptions of the management of gastrointestinal FL, which is considered to be controversial because it is rare.
Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab); Follicular lymphoma; Idiotype vaccines; Immunoradiotherapy; Treatment strategies
The epothilone analog ixabepilone exhibits reduced susceptibility to several important tumor survival mechanisms that limit the efficacy of taxanes and anthracyclines. As a single agent, ixabepilone has shown promise in metastatic breast cancer when anthracyclines, taxanes, or capecitabine have failed; and in early-stage breast cancer that is taxane-naïve or has previously received taxanes in the adjuvant or metastatic setting. Compared with capecitabine alone, ixabepilone used in combination with capecitabine in patients previously treated with and resistant to anthracyclines and taxanes produced a 25% reduction in the risk of disease progression. Triple-negative tumors showed particular susceptibility to this doublet. Ixabepilone has also demonstrated efficacy as first-line therapy in combination with targeted agents such as bevacizumab and trastuzumab. Ongoing investigations should provide insight as to how this agent could be integrated into treatment of early-stage disease. In clinical studies, toxicities with ixabepilone were manageable and reversible through dose reduction or delay, even in patients with extensive or heavily-pretreated disease. Thus, ixabepilone represents a useful addition to the therapeutic options available for advanced breast cancer, and it may extend progression-free survival in patients with limited treatment options.
ixabepilone; breast cancer; efficacy; metastasis; adjuvant