Purpose: This phase II multicenter trial was aimed at investigating the activity of epirubicin-vinorelbine combination as first-line chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients. Patients and Methods: Ninety-seven patients with metastatic breast cancer and no prior exposure to anthracyclines received the following regimen: epirubicin 100 mg/m2 by intravenous (IV) bolus infusion on day 1 plus vinorelbine 25 mg/m2 by 30-minute IV infusion on days 1 and 5, every 3 weeks for up to eight cycles. All patients also received granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) on days 7 to 12 of every cycle. Results: Objective responses, confirmed at least 4 weeks after the first documentation, were observed in 65 out of 92 assessable patients (70.6%; 95% Cl, 62% to 80%). Disease remained stable in 17 patients (18.5%). Responses were observed in all disease sites, being 94% in soft tissue, 60% in bone, and 66% in visceral disease. Median time to response, median duration of response, median time to progression, and median overall survival were 2, 9, 10, and 26 months, respectively. The dose-limiting toxicity was neutropenia, which was grade 4 in 36% of the patients, and was accompanied by fever in 26% of the cases. Grade 3 to 4 mucositis was encountered in 28% of the patients. Other toxicities were mild to moderate. No cardiotoxicity was observed. Conclusion: The epirubicin-vinorelbine combination with G-CSF support has been shown in this study to be highly active as first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients, with significant although transient toxicity. This justifies further evaluation in the neoadjuvant setting and in early-stage breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research