[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: There is a deep need to improve the care of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients, since even today it remains an incurable disease. Taxanes are considered the most effective cytotoxic drugs for the treatment of MBC, both in monotherapy and in combined schedules, but the need for synthetic solvents contributes to the severe toxicities and may have a negative impact on the efficacy. Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (Nab-paclitaxel) is a colloidal suspension of paclitaxel and human serum albumin initially developed to avoid the toxicities associated with conventional taxanes. Patients and methods: The aim of this prospective, single-center open-label, noncomparative study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nab-paclitaxel in MBC patients pretreated with taxanes. The patients were treated with nab-paclitaxel as a single agent, 260 mg/m2 on day 1 of each 3-week cycle or 125 mg/m2 weekly. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR). Secondary objectives were duration of response, clinical benefit rate, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and safety. Results: A total of 42 patients (median age 48 years, median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0, triple-negative MBC 19%, all pretreated with a taxane-based therapy, mainly in advanced disease) were enrolled in the study. The ORR was 23.8%, including one complete response (2.4%) and nine partial responses (21.4%); the disease control rate was 50%. The median duration of response was 7.2 months. After a median follow-up of 9 months, the median PFS was 4.6 months. ORR and PFS were similar irrespective of the previous chemotherapy lines, metastatic sites, and biomolecular expression. Nab-paclitaxel was well tolerated, and the most frequent treatment-related toxicities were mild to moderate (grades 1–2). Conclusion: This real-life study shows that nab-paclitaxel has a significant antitumor activity and a manageable safety profile in patients pretreated with taxanes and experiencing a treatment failure after at least one line of chemotherapy.
Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Drug Design, Development and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Whether addition of fluorouracil to epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, and paclitaxel (EC-P) is favourable in adjuvant treatment of patients with node-positive breast cancer is controversial, as is the benefit of increased density of dosing. We aimed to address these questions in terms of improvements in disease-free survival. Methods In this 2 × 2 factorial, open-label, phase 3 trial, we enrolled patients aged 18-70 years with operable, node positive, early-stage breast cancer from 81 Italian centres. Eligible patients were randomly allocated in a 1:1:1:1 ratio with a centralised, interactive online system to receive either dose-dense chemotherapy (administered intravenously every 2 weeks with pegfilgrastim support) with fluorouracil plus EC-P (FEC-P) or EC-P or to receive standard-interval chemotherapy (administered intravenously every 3 weeks) with FEC-P or EC-P. The primary study endpoint was disease-free survival, assessed with the Kaplan-Meier method in the intention-to-treat population. Our primary comparisons were between dose schedule (every 2 weeks vs every 3 weeks) and dose type (FEC-P vs EC-P). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00433420. Findings Between April 24, 2003, and July 3, 2006, we recruited 2091 patients. 88 patients were enrolled in centres that only provided standard-intensity dosing. After a median follow-up of 7·0 years (interquartile range [IQR] 4·5-6·3), 140 (26%) of 545 patients given EC-P every 3 weeks, 157 (29%) of 544 patients given FEC-P every 3 weeks, 111 (22%) of 502 patients given EC-P every 2 weeks, and 113 (23%) of 500 patients given FEC-P every 2 weeks had a disease-free survival event. For the dose-density comparison, disease-free survival at 5 years was 81% (95% CI 79-84) in patients treated every 2 weeks and 76% (74-79) in patients treated every 3 weeks (HR 0·77, 95% CI 0·65-0·92; p=0·004); overall survival rates at 5 years were 94% (93-96) and 89% (87-91; HR 0·65, 0·51-0·84; p=0·001) and for the chemotherapy-type comparison, disease-free survival at 5 years was 78% (75-81) in the FEC-P groups and 79% (76-82) in the EC-P groups (HR 1·06, 0·89-1·25; p=0·561); overall survival rates at 5 years were 91% (89-93) and 92% (90-94; 1·16, 0·91-1·46; p=0·234). Compared with 3 week dosing, chemotherapy every 2 weeks was associated with increased rate of grade 3-4 of anaemia (14 [1·4%] of 988 patients vs two [0·2%] of 984 patients; p=0·002); transaminitis (19 [1·9%] vs four [0·4%]; p=0·001), and myalgias (31 [3·1%] vs 16 [1·6%]; p=0·019), and decreased rates of grade 3-4 neutropenia (147 [14·9%] vs 433 [44·0%]; p<0·0001). Addition of fluorouracil led to increased rates of grade 3-4 neutropenia (354 [34·5%] of 1025 patients on FEC-P vs 250 [24·2%] of 1032 patients on EC-P; p<0·0001), fever (nine [0·9%] vs two [0·2%]), nausea (47 [4·6%] vs 28 [2·7%]), and vomiting (32 [3·1%] vs 15 [1·4%]). Interpretation In patients with node-positive early breast cancer, dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy improved disease-free survival compared with standard interval chemotherapy. Addition of fluorouracil to a sequential EC-P regimen was not associated with an improved disease-free survival outcome. Funding Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia, and Dompè Biotec.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Lapatinib, a dual HER2/EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), associated to capecitabine represents the treatment of choice in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (BC) patients in progression after trastuzumab-based therapy. Though lapatinib-based therapy prolongs the time to progression, its efficacy is often limited by the development of drug resistance. It is aimed to evaluate novel biomarkers predictive of lapatinib response, we analyzed EGFR protein and gene status in a series of 50 metastatic HER2-positive BC patients.
Lapatinib was given at 1250 mg/day continuously and capecitabine at 2000 mg/m(2)/day every 3 weeks. EGFR protein expression and gene copy number (GCN) were assessed by immunohistochemistry and FISH, respectively. Receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis identified the value of > 3.36 EGFR copies/nucleus as the cut-off point able to discriminate responders versus non-responders.
A statistical significant correlation between EGFR GCN value > 3.36 and response to lapatinib (p = 0.01) was found. Cox regression analysis further supported these findings evidencing that HER2 score 3+ and EGFR GCN increase are positive predictor factors of lapatinib response.
Though further investigations are needed to confirm these findings, EGFR GCN could be a suitable screening to identify the subset of BC patients particularly responsive to the dual TKI lapatinib.
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Data on efficacy of bevacizumab (B) beyond first-line taxane -including regimen (BT) as first-line treatment are lacking. Although preclinical results that anti-angiogenic agents combined with hormonal therapy (HT) could be active, no clinical data exist about combination of maintenance Bevacizumab (mBev) with HT.
Thirty-five patients who experienced a response after first-line BT, were given mBev at the dose of 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Among 30 pts with hormonal receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC), 20 (66.6%) received HT with mBev (mHTBev). Objective of the study was the outcome and safety of mBev and in two groups of patients receiving HT or not.
Complete response and partial response was achieved/maintained in 4 (11.4%) and 13 (37.1%) patients, respectively (overall response rate: 48.5%). Clinical benefit was obtained on 23 patients (65.7%). Median of mBev PFS and clinical benefit were 6.8 months (95% CI: 0.8-12.7) and 17.1 months (95% CI :12.2-21.9), respectively. Median PFS of patients who received mHTBev was longer than mBev without HT (13 months and 4.1 months, respectively, p = 0.05). The most common severe toxicities were proteinuria (11.4%) and hypertension (8.5%). No additional toxicity was observed with HTBev.
Maintenance bevacizumab with or without anti-hormonal therapy in patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer is tolerable and associated with long-term clinical outcome; these results encourage the strategy of prolonging bevacizumab until progression in combination with anti-hormonal agents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the addition of bevacizumab significantly improves the efficacy of chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer, regulatory concerns still exist with regard to the magnitude of the benefits and the overall safety profile.
A literature-based meta-analysis to quantify the magnitude of benefit and safety of adding bevacizumab to chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer patients was conducted. Meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were also performed to identify additional predictors of outcome and to assess the influence of trial design.
Five trials (3,841 patients) were gathered. A significant interaction according to treatment line was found for progression-free survival (PFS, p = 0.027); PFS was significantly improved for 1(st) line (Hazard Ratio, HR 0.68, p < 0.0001), with a 1-yr absolute difference (AD) of 8.4% (number needed to treat, NNT 12). A non-significant trend was found in overall survival (OS), and in PFS for 2(nd) line. Responses were improved with the addition of bevacizumab, without interaction between 1(st) line (Relative Risk, RR 1.46, p < 0.0001) and 2(nd) line (RR 1.58, p = 0.05). The most important toxicity was hypertension, accounting for a significant AD of 4.5% against bevacizumab (number needed to harm, NNH 22). Other significant, although less clinically meaningful, adverse events were proteinuria, neurotoxicity, febrile neutropenia, and bleeding. At the meta-regression analysis for 1(st)-line, more than 3 metastatic sites (p = 0.032), no adjuvant chemotherapy (p = 0.00013), negative hormonal receptor status (p = 0.009), and prior anthracyclines-exposure (p = 0.019), did significantly affect PFS.
Although with heterogeneity, the addition of bevacizumab to 1st-line chemotherapy significantly improves PFS, and overall activity. Hypertension should be weighted with the overall benefit on the individual basis.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the clinical outcome of patients with brain metastases (BMs) from human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer (BC) treated with lapatinib and capecitabine (LC).
Of 81 HER2+ metastatic BC patients treated with LC at two Italian institutions, 30 patients with BMs eligible for the analysis were identified. All patients were pretreated with trastuzumab for metastatic disease. No patients had received prior lapatinib and/or capecitabine.
Median age was 45 years (range 24-75) and 26 of 30 patients (86.7%) had received prior cranial radiotherapy. In the 22 patients with BMs evaluable for response, 7 partial responses (31.8%) and 6 disease stabilizations (27.3%) were observed. Overall, the median brain-specific progression-free survival was 5.6 months (95% confidence interval 4.4-6.8). Patients treated with LC had a median overall survival (from the time of development of BMs) significantly longer compared with 23 patients treated with trastuzumab-based therapies only beyond brain progression (27.9 months versus 16.7 months, respectively, P = 0.01).
LC is active for BMs from HER2+ BC in patients not pretreated with either lapatinib or capecitabine. The introduction of LC after the development of BMs may further improve survival compared with trastuzumab-based therapies only beyond brain progression.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Annals of Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyze HER2 status in primary breast cancer (PBC) compared with correspondent metachronous metastases and to investigate whether BC phenotype may be predictive of change in HER2 expression.
HER2 was investigated by immunohistochemistry, silver in situ hybridization (SISH), and FISH, in a series of 137 tumors, building up a tissue microarray to concurrently analyze each single PBC and metastatic (MBC) on the same slide.
HER2 status was discordant in 14 cases (10%): 12 negative in PBC and positive in metastases and two positive in PBC and negative in metastases (P = 0.04). These findings were confirmed by a PCR based test termed Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA). HER2 status changed in hormone receptor-positive BC more frequently than in negative ones (P = 0.002). In addition, we evaluated HER2 gene and chromosome 17 copy number by SISH in the 123 cases with unchanged HER2 status during progression. We found consistent HER2 gene copy number stability in the 100 nonamplified cases. Conversely, of the 23 amplified PBC, 13 (57%) demonstrated a significant increase in the HER2 gene and chromosome 17 copy number in their paired metastases (P = 0.01), as defined by SISH (k = 0.54, P < 0.0001) and MLPA. Patients who changed HER2 status from negative to positive, presented significant longer time to progression when treated with trastuzumab compared to those who were untreated (P = 0.04).
When feasible, HER2 reassessment in metastatic lesions should be carefully taken into account, especially for metastases coming from primary hormone receptor-positive BC.
Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) after BC and the additional risk factor of tamoxifen exposure were investigated by several studies with conflicting results. We performed a case-control study aimed at investigating if a past history of breast cancer is a risk factor of developing adenomas or CRC and establishing whether tamoxifen exposure is an additional risk factor.
We enrolled 175 asymptomatic women with a past history of BC and invited them to undergo a screening colonoscopy. In the same period, we enrolled 201 healthy asymptomatic women (HG) with no family history of CRC which were referred to our Unit for a colonoscopy.
Mean age at colonoscopy was 56.9 years for BC patients vs. 56.3 years for HG (p=0.58). In 32/175 (18.3%) BC patients, 38 lesions and in 17/201 (8.4%) controls, 20 lesions (p=0.029) were diagnosed. BC patients had 5/32 CRC vs. no CRC in the HG. Multivariate analysis of age, family history of CRC, timing from BC diagnosis and first colonoscopy, tamoxifen treatment revealed that none of the variables were predictive of the presence or absence of adenomas or CRC in the BC group.
In the present study BC group had a significant higher prevalence of adenoma or CRC than controls. Tamoxifen exposure did not increase the risk of adenoma or CRC. Our data support the hypothesis that BC is a risk condition for adenomas or CRC. The risk is small but present and a screening colonoscopy should be offered to these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous analysis performed on a cohort of 37 HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated with trastuzumab beyond progression, we found that a second trastuzumab-based therapy is associated with a considerable response rate and preserved time to progression as compared with a first trastuzumab-based therapy. In the present study, we extended the analysis to a total of 69 patients treated in four different italian Institutions, also trying to identify clinical predictors of sensitivity to a second trastuzumab-based therapy beyond progression. Efficacy results on the overall population confirmed that a second trastuzumab-based therapy beyond progression is an active regimen (27.5% of responses and 6.5 months of time to progression, respectively). Median time to progression to the first trastuzumab therapy (TTP1) identified two groups of patients with different sensitivity to trastuzumab beyond progression (group A, TTP1 >or= 8 months and group B, TTP1 < 8 months) in terms of time to second progression and post-progression survival (group A versus group B showed respectively a time to second progression of 7.6 versus 4.7 months, p = 0.05, and a post-progression survival of 31.7 months versus 21.8 months, p = 0.04). In the multivariate analysis, only TTP1 was a predictor of time to second progression and post-progression survival. Despite the recent approval of lapatinib plus capecitabine for trastuzumab-progressing patients, it is still reasonable to offer trastuzumab beyond progression to HER-2 positive MBC patients, because these data confirm the potential utility of such a conduct. In the clinic, time to first tumor progression may represent a useful tool to identify patients who are more likely to benefit from trastuzumab beyond progression.
No preview · Article · Nov 2009 · The Breast Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preclinical evidence suggests that the cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme plays an important role in breast cancer progression. The aim of the present phase II study was to determine the activity and safety of the combination of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib with capecitabine in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients pretreated with anthracyclines and/or taxanes.
Eligible patients received capecitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1-14 every 21 days and celecoxib 200 mg twice daily, continuously, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
About 42 pretreated MBC patients were enrolled into the study. Median number of previous chemotherapy lines for metastatic disease was 2 (0-3). Seven patients (19%) responded to treatment while disease stabilization occurred in 17 patients (40.5%). Overall, 20 patients (47.5%) achieved clinical benefit [objective responses (CR) plus stable disease (SD) >/=6 months]. Median time to progression (TTP) and median overall survival (OS) were 5.2 and 17.8 months, respectively. Treatment was very well tolerated: grade 3 toxicities were observed in only five patients, respectively, and no grade 4 adverse events were reported. Celecoxib was never discontinued for toxicity. Analysis of COX-2 expression in the 22 patients with available tissue revealed a significantly longer TTP and OS for patients whose tumors over-expressed COX-2.
The combination of capecitabine and celecoxib is active and safe in far advanced MBC patients. Interestingly, this association resulted in a lower-than-expected toxicity, as compared to single-agent capecitabine. The clinical relevance of COX-2 as determinant of sensitivity to treatment with celecoxib should be further evaluated in larger series of patients.
No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though preclinical evidence supports the protracted use of trastuzumab to reach sustained anti-tumor activity, the activity of trastuzumab beyond disease progression remains controversial in HER-2 over-expressing (HER-2+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. We retrospectively evaluated a total of 59 patients with HER-2 + MBC treated at our institution with trastuzumab-based therapies. Our results were added to those obtained in similar observational studies and summary estimates for overall response (OR) and clinical benefit (CB) to first and second trastuzumab-based lines were calculated. In our series of patients we observed an OR of 59.3% and 27% for first and second trastuzumab-based lines, respectively, with a corresponding CB of 83% and 62.2%, respectively. Time to first and second progression were 9.5 months and 6.7 months, respectively. The combined analysis showed an OR of 50% for first trastuzumab-based regimen and 21.2% for second trastuzumab-based line. The corresponding values for CB were 77.6% and 42.6%, respectively. A second trastuzumab-containing regimen beyond progression yields a considerable rate of OR and CB in HER-2 + MBC patients. Randomized trials are warranted.
No preview · Article · May 2008 · Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of human epidermal receptor-2 (HER-2) negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is usually problematic, since no standard therapy exists in this setting. For some patients, combination chemotherapy represents a valuable approach, although its use is often limited by the risks of increased toxicity as well as impairments in quality of life (QoL) that often outweigh the marginal efficacy benefit. Against this background, the use of taxanes, either paclitaxel or docetaxel, in combination with gemcitabine as first-line treatment of HER-2 negative MBC is supported by the evidence of the single-agent activity of these drugs, beneficial pharmacological interactions, different mechanisms of action and largely non superimposable toxicity profiles. A number of phase II studies have explored the activity of a taxane plus gemcitabine in both chemonaïve and pretreated MBC patients, all showing remarkably high response rates and exceptional tolerability. In randomized phase III trials, the paclitaxel and gemcitabine combination showed significant improvements in objective responses, time to progression and overall survival, as compared to paclitaxel monotherapy, whereas the docetaxel and gemcitabine doublet demonstrated equal efficacy and better tolerability, as compared to docetaxel plus capecitabine. In addition to standard threeweekly dosing regimens, alternative schedules of administration of taxanes and gemcitabine doublets (weekly, twoweekly) might deserve further investigation due to their potential usefulness in reducing pharmacological toxicity while maintaining or increasing dose-intensity and clinical efficacy. Furthermore, uncertainty exists on which taxane should be preferred in combination with gemcitabine, since no head-to-head comparison between paclitaxel-gemcitabine and docetaxel-gemcitabine has been performed so far. Ongoing trials will address these issues and future investigations will also include the evaluation of bevacizumab, the monoclonal antibody targeted against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in combination with taxanes and gemcitabine doublets.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Anticancer research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To summarise the advances in the hormonal treatment of post-menopausal metastatic breast cancer, this paper reviews the published literature regarding the randomised trials comparing aromatase inhibitors (AIs) versus tamoxifen as a first-line therapeutic choice, or AIs versus megestrole acetate (MEG) as a second-line option. The pooled analysis of these authors on AI versus MEG as a second-line option for post-menopausal metastatic breast cancer suggested that AIs do not add any significant benefit over MEG in terms of overall response rate (ORR) and time to progression. According to the Cochrane Database, use of an AI as a second-line therapy versus any other endocrine therapy (mostly MEG) has shown a significant benefit in terms of overall survival, but not for progression-free survival, clinical benefit (CB) or ORR. Concerning the authors' comparisons between AIs versus tamoxifen as a first-line endocrine option in post-menopausal women with metastatic breast carcinoma, AIs seem to be superior to tamoxifen, with a significant benefit in terms of ORR, CB and time to progression being observed in favour of AIs over tamoxifen with fixed effects estimates. According to the Cochrane Database, there was an advantage to the use of AIs over tamoxifen in terms of progression-free survival and CB, but not for overall survival or ORR. With regards to toxicity, AIs show similar levels of hot flushes and arthralgia, increased risks of nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, but a decreased risk of vaginal bleeding and thromboembolic events compared with other endocrine therapies. Weight gain, dyspnoea and peripheral oedema seem to be more frequent with MEG. At present, there is no proved overall survival difference in patients who are treated first with an AI and then with tamoxifen compared with the opposite sequence. In the metastatic setting, results are limited and are based on retrospective analyses.
No preview · Article · Aug 2007 · Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs