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      Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) as second-line chemotherapy in HER2-negative, taxane-pretreated metastatic breast cancer patients: prospective evaluation of activity, safety, and quality of life

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          A prospective, multicenter trial was undertaken to assess the activity, safety, and quality of life of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) as second-line chemotherapy in HER2-negative, taxane-pretreated metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

          Patients and methods

          Fifty-two women with HER2-negative MBC who were candidates for second-line chemotherapy for the metastatic disease were enrolled and treated at three centers in Northern Italy. All patients had previously received taxane-based chemotherapy in the adjuvant or first-line metastatic setting. Single-agent nab-paclitaxel was given at the dose of 260 mg/m 2 as a 30-minute intravenous infusion on day 1 each treatment cycle, which lasted 3 weeks, in the outpatient setting. No steroid or antihistamine premedication was provided. Treatment was stopped for documented disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or patient refusal.


          All of the enrolled patients were evaluable for the study endpoints. The objective response rate was 48% (95% CI, 31.5%–61.3%) and included complete responses from 13.5%. Disease stabilization was obtained in 19 patients and lasted >6 months in 15 of them; the overall clinical benefit rate was 77%. The median time to response was 70 days (range 52–86 days). The median progression-free survival time was 8.9 months (95% CI, 8.0–11.6 months, range 5–21+ months). The median overall survival point has not yet been reached. Toxicities were expected and manageable with good patient compliance and preserved quality of life in patients given long-term treatment.


          Our results showed that single-agent nab-paclitaxel 260 mg/m 2 every 3 weeks is an effective and well tolerated regimen as second-line chemotherapy in HER2-negative, taxane-pretreated MBC patients, and that it produced interesting values of objective response rate and progression-free survival without the concern of significant toxicity. Specifically, the present study shows that such a regimen is a valid therapeutic option for that ‘difficult to treat’ patient population represented by women who at the time of disease relapse have already received the most active agents in the adjuvant and/or metastatic setting (ie, conventional taxanes).

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          Most cited references 59

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          Phase III trial of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel compared with polyethylated castor oil-based paclitaxel in women with breast cancer.

          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.
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            Phase III study of bevacizumab plus docetaxel compared with placebo plus docetaxel for the first-line treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer.

            The efficacy and safety of combining bevacizumab (7.5 and 15 mg/kg) with docetaxel as first-line therapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -negative, locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer (MBC) was investigated in a three-arm, placebo-controlled, phase III trial. Patients (N = 736) were randomly assigned to docetaxel 100 mg/m(2) plus either placebo or bevacizumab 7.5 or 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary end points included best overall response, duration of response, time to treatment failure, overall survival, and safety. Combination of bevacizumab 15 mg/kg, but not 7.5 mg/kg, with docetaxel showed superior median PFS (mPFS) to placebo plus docetaxel in unstratified analysis (placebo mPFS, 8.2 months; 7.5 mg/kg mPFS, 9.0 months [hazard ratio (HR), 0.86; P = .12]; 15 mg/kg mPFS, 10.1 months [HR, 0.77; P = .006]) and stratified analysis (placebo mPFS, 8.1 months; 7.5 mg/kg mPFS, 9.0 months [HR, 0.80; P = .045]; 15 mg/kg mPFS, 10.0 months [HR, 0.67; P < .001]). Response rates in patients with measurable disease at baseline also increased with bevacizumab 15 mg/kg (46% [placebo] v 55% [7.5 mg/kg; P = .07] and 64% [15 mg/kg; P < .001]). Combination with bevacizumab had limited impact on the known toxicity profile of docetaxel. Combination of bevacizumab with docetaxel did not significantly impact on the safety profile of docetaxel. Bevacizumab 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks significantly increased PFS when combined with docetaxel as first-line therapy for MBC compared with docetaxel plus placebo.
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              Extending survival with chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer.

              Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains essentially incurable, and goals of therapy include the palliation of symptoms, delay of disease progression, and prolongation of overall survival time without negatively impacting quality of life. Anthracycline and taxane-based therapies have traditionally shown the highest degree of activity in MBC. Though numerous randomized clinical trials have shown improvements in overall response rates, few have found clear survival benefits. In recent years, however, there has been a small but growing series of clinical trials demonstrating modest, but meaningful survival advantages in metastatic disease. A common feature in many of these trials has been the use of a taxane, and more recently, a taxane combined with an antimetabolite. In addition, the development of targeted biologic agents active against MBC, such as trastuzumab and bevacizumab, has demonstrated great potential for enhancing the effects of chemotherapy and producing meaningful survival improvements. The role of the taxanes, antimetabolites, and biologics in extending survival in MBC is discussed.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                15 April 2015
                : 9
                : 2189-2199
                [1 ]Departmental Unit of Oncology, IRCCS Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Pavia, Italy
                [2 ]Unit of Nuclear Medicine, IRCCS Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Pavia, Italy
                [3 ]Medical Oncology Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milano, Italy
                [4 ]Medical Oncology, Legnano Hospital, Legnano, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Raffaella Palumbo, Departmental Unit of Oncology, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Via Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy, Tel +39 0382 592 203, Fax +39 0382 592 206, Email raffaella.palumbo@ 123456fsm.it
                © 2015 Palumbo et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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