Anti-angiogenic treatment of breast cancer using metronomic low-dose chemotherapy

Raquel Munoz, Yuval Shaked, Francesco Bertolini, Urban Emmenegger, Shan Man, Robert S. Kerbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have been studying the molecular and cellular basis of chronic low-dose, frequently administered, metronomic chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of cancer in a variety of preclinical models, including human breast cancer xenografts. The advantages of metronomic-maintenance-type chemotherapy regimens include significantly reduced host toxicity, potentially reduced costs, increased convenience for patients when oral chemotherapy drugs are used, and the possibility of adopting chronic combination therapies involving conventional chemotherapy drugs and cytostatic molecularly targeted therapies. However, a disadvantage is the empiricism associated with determining the optimal biologic dose (OBD). Recently, we have developed a surrogate biomarker approach involving measurement of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs) in peripheral blood to help determine the OBD of anti-angiogenic drugs or treatments, including metronomic chemotherapy. Using this approach we determined the OBD for different metronomic chemotherapy regimens and then tested the effect of such drugs for the treatment of established, advanced (high volume) and widespread human breast cancer metastases in immunodeficient mice. This treatment strategy, which was maintained for over 6 months, with no breaks, resulted in marked prolongation of survival and was devoid of overt toxicity. These results suggest the possibility of using metronomic chemotherapy regimens as an adjuvant therapy for early-stage disease, including breast cancer, as was demonstrated recently using long-term daily low-dose UFT for the treatment of early-stage resected non-small cell lung cancer or UFT in combination for early stage breast cancer combined with tamoxifen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-479
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Anti-angiogenesis
  • Circulating endothelial cells
  • Metastasis
  • Metronomic chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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