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      Phase III Trial of Nanoparticle Albumin-Bound Paclitaxel Compared With Polyethylated Castor Oil–Based Paclitaxel in Women With Breast Cancer

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          ABI-007, the first biologically interactive albumin-bound paclitaxel in a nanameter particle, free of solvents, was compared with polyethylated castor oil–based standard paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). This phase III study was performed to confirm preclinical studies demonstrating superior efficacy and reduced toxicity of ABI-007 compared with standard paclitaxel.

          Patients and Methods

          Patients were randomly assigned to 3-week cycles of either ABI-007 260 mg/m 2 intravenously without premedication (n = 229) or standard paclitaxel 175 mg/m 2 intravenously with premedication (n = 225).


          ABI-007 demonstrated significantly higher response rates compared with standard paclitaxel (33% v 19%, respectively; P = .001) and significantly longer time to tumor progression (23.0 v 16.9 weeks, respectively; hazard ratio = 0.75; P = .006). The incidence of grade 4 neutropenia was significantly lower for ABI-007 compared with standard paclitaxel (9% v 22%, respectively; P < .001) despite a 49% higher paclitaxel dose. Febrile neutropenia was uncommon (< 2%), and the incidence did not differ between the two study arms. Grade 3 sensory neuropathy was more common in the ABI-007 arm than in the standard paclitaxel arm (10% v 2%, respectively; P < .001) but was easily managed and improved rapidly (median, 22 days). No hypersensitivity reactions occurred with ABI-007 despite the absence of premedication and shorter administration time.


          ABI-007 demonstrated greater efficacy and a favorable safety profile compared with standard paclitaxel in this patient population. The improved therapeutic index and elimination of corticosteroid premedication required for solvent-based taxanes make the novel albumin-bound paclitaxel ABI-007 an important advance in the treatment of MBC.

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          Most cited references18

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          Hypersensitivity reactions from taxol.

          Taxol is an antitumor agent in clinical trial that has been shown to have activity against advanced ovarian carcinoma and melanoma. Hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) have been one of the toxicities observed with administration of this drug. Of 301 patients treated, 32 patients have had definite (27 patients) or possible (five patients) hypersensitivity reactions to taxol. All but one patient had the reaction from the first or second exposure to this agent. Reactions occurred at a variety of doses and were characterized most frequently by dyspnea, hypotension, bronchospasm, urticaria, and erythematous rashes. Thirteen (41%) patients had received premedication designed to prevent such toxicity; nevertheless, they sustained HSRs. Prolonging the drug infusion appears to have somewhat reduced, but not obviated, the risk of HSRs. The cause (taxol itself or its excipient Cremophor EL; Badische Anilin und Soda-Fabrik AG [BASF], Ludwigshafen, Federal Republic of Germany) and the mechanism of these reactions to taxol are unknown. We provide guidelines to prevent or minimize such toxicity and treat reactions if they still occur.
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            Caveolae-deficient endothelial cells show defects in the uptake and transport of albumin in vivo.

            The role of endothelial cell caveolae in the uptake and transport of macromolecules from the blood-space to the tissue-space remains controversial. To address this issue directly, we employed caveolin-1 gene knock-out mice that lack caveolin-1 protein expression and caveolae organelles. Here, we show that endothelial cell caveolae are required for the efficient uptake and transport of a known caveolar ligand, i.e. albumin, in vivo. Caveolin-1-null mice were perfused with 5-nm gold-conjugated albumin, and its uptake was followed by transmission electron microscopy. Our results indicate that gold-conjugated albumin is not endocytosed by Cav-1-deficient lung endothelial cells and remains in the blood vessel lumen; in contrast, gold-conjugated albumin was concentrated and internalized by lung endothelial cell caveolae in wild-type mice, as expected. To quantitate this defect in uptake, we next studied the endocytosis of radioiodinated albumin using aortic ring segments from wild-type and Cav-1-null mice. Interestingly, little or no uptake of radioiodinated albumin was observed in the aortic segments from Cav-1-deficient mice, whereas aortic segments from wild-type mice showed robust uptake that was time- and temperature-dependent and competed by unlabeled albumin. We conclude that endothelial cell caveolae are required for the efficient uptake and transport of albumin from the blood to the interstitium.
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              Multicenter, randomized comparative study of two doses of paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer.

              The objective of this multicenter study was to compare the therapeutic index of two different doses of paclitaxel given as a 3-hour infusion in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), who had failed to respond to previous chemotherapy. A total of 471 patients with MBC were randomized to receive intravenous paclitaxel at a dose of 175 or 135 mg/m2 every 3 weeks. Better treatment results were achieved with high-dose (HD) versus low-dose (LD) paclitaxel: overall response rate, 29% versus 22% (P = .108); complete response (CR) rate, 5% versus 2% (P = .088); median time to disease progression, 4.2 versus 3.0 months (P = .027); and median survival time, 11.7 versus 10.5 months (P = .321). Patients previously exposed or resistant to anthracyclines were as likely to respond as those without such prior exposure. Treatment was well tolerated, as documented by the number of administered treatment courses (median, six v five; range, one 17 v one to 18), the low frequency of dose reductions (14% v 7%, P = .024), and the small number of patients (n = 9 or 4% vn = 5 or 2%) who required treatment discontinuation for adverse reactions. The incidence and severity of neutropenia and peripheral neuropathy were dose-related. After quality-of-life-adjusted time-to-progression analysis, the HD arm (175 mg/m2) retained its advantage over the LD arm (135 mg/m2). The results of this trial substantiate the activity of paclitaxel in the treatment of MBC. The observed superior efficacy with a dose of 175 mg/m2 over 135 mg/m2 suggests a dose-effect relationship. The clinical activity in anthracycline-resistant patients is particularly noteworthy. Paclitaxel in breast cancer needs further evaluation in large trials that use combination chemotherapy and involve earlier disease stages.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Clinical Oncology
                American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
                November 01 2005
                November 01 2005
                : 23
                : 31
                : 7794-7803
                [1 ]From Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; American BioScience, Inc, Santa Monica, CA; Baylor-Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, US Oncology, Dallas, TX; Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia; and Broomfield Hospital, Essex, United Kingdom.
                © 2005


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