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 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.