Effective treatment options for patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) resistant/refractory to anthracyclines and/or taxanes are limited. Intravenous and oral combination of vinorelbine (VRL) and capecitabine were shown to be feasible and effective in first-line MBC. In order to evaluate the activity of the combination of an all oral regimen in a more advanced setting, we investigated a regimen combining oral VRL and capecitabine in a phase II study as second-line chemotherapy of MBC patients previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes.
Patients and methods
Forty patients (median age 52 years) with MBC received the combination of oral VRL 60 mg/m² on days 1, 8 and 15 plus capecitabine 1,000 mg/m² bid given from day 1 to day 14 in an open-label, international, multicentre, phase II study. Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was response rate (RR) evaluated by an independent panel review. Secondary objectives included safety, duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival and quality of life.
All the patients had received prior chemotherapy with anthracyclines and taxanes, 75% were refractory/resistant to anthracycline and/or taxane, 72.5% presented with visceral involvement and the last prior chemotherapy for 87.5% of the patients was for advanced disease setting. The median number of administered cycles per patient was 4 (range 1–31). Eight responses were documented and validated by an independent panel review, yielding RRs of 20% [95% CI: 9–35.6] in the intent-to-treat (treated) population and 23.5% [95% CI: 10.7–41.2] in the 34 evaluable patients. Median progression-free survival and median overall survival were 3.4 months [95% CI: 2.3–5.5] and 11.3 months [95% CI: 8.1–16.4], respectively. The principal toxicities were anaemia, neutropenia (rarely complicated; only one patient experienced febrile neutropenia), fatigue and gastrointestinal toxicities with very few grade 3–4 non-haematological toxicities.
In second-line treatment of MBC patients previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes, oral VRL plus capecitabine is a safe regimen with an efficacy comparable to the other available combination regimens used in this heavily and resistant/refractory (75% of patients) pre-treated patients’ population. Moreover, this well-tolerated combination offers the advantages of an all oral regimen.
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This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Institut de Recherche Pierre Fabre, Boulogne, France.
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Jones, A., O’Brien, M., Sommer, H. et al. Phase II study of oral vinorelbine in combination with capecitabine as second line chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 65, 755–763 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00280-009-1081-y