Bi-weekly liposomal doxorubicin for advanced breast cancer in elderly women (≥70years)

Umberto Basso, Anna Roma, Antonella Brunello, Cristina Falci, Pasquale Fiduccia, Alberto Banzato, Antonio Bononi, Milena Gusella, Lampros Vamvakas, Vittorina Zagonel, Silvio Monfardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We conducted a multicenter prospective trial to assess tolerability and activity of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in women ≥. 70. years with locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Patients and Methods: All patients underwent Multidimensional Geriatric Assessment (MGA). Frail patients were excluded. Normal cardiac function was required for inclusion. A bi-weekly schedule of PLD at 20. mg/mq was adopted. Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled with a median age of 78years, 78.1% with visceral involvement, and 37.6% previously treated with chemotherapy for advanced disease. A mean of 7.8cycles were delivered (range 1 to 20), with a median cumulative dose intensity of 8.9mg/m2/week. Grade 3-4 toxicities were anemia (6.3%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (6.3%), mucositis (6.3%), infection (3.1%), and pulmonary embolism (3.1%). No cardiac events were registered. Causes of treatment interruption were maximal response (15.6%), progression (40.6%), refusal/loss to follow-up (28.1%), toxicities (9.4%), or other (6.3%). Response was obtained in 33.3% of 27 evaluable patients; median time to progression (TTP) was 10.3months. MGA status (vulnerable vs. fit) did not have an impact on response, progression, and toxicity. Conclusions: Bi-weekly PLD is well tolerated in both fit and vulnerable patients, with an apparently fairly good response rate and TTP (possibly biased by subsequent endocrine therapy and loss to follow-up). Close observation of patients is recommended in order to avoid early refusal/loss to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Anthracyclines
  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Elderly
  • Liposomal doxorubicin
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Oncology


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