Vinorelbine (i.v.) plus capecitabine (oral) combination therapy is active in anthracycline/taxane pretreated patients with metastatic breast cancer. Availability of oral vinorelbine provides this combination in an all-oral formulation. Two consecutive phase II trials differing only in vinorelbine administration routes evaluated their respective activities and tolerabilities in this population. In the i.v. group (n = 38) disease control was 61% (37% PR, 24% SD), median TTP 6.8 months and median survival 11.3 months. In the oral group (n = 38) disease control was 77% (5.4% CR, 34% PR, 38% SD), median TTP 7 months and median survival 10 months. G3-G4 neutropenia was more common in the oral group (p <0.05); G2-G3 anaemia  and G3 thrombocytopenia  were observed only in the oral group. Although the comparison between the two regimens was not randomized, the results observed in these two consecutive phase II studies may suggest that oral and iv vinorelbine, in combination with capecitabine, can achieve similar responses in patients with metastatic breast cancer refractory to anthra-taxane combinations.
- Metastatic breast cancer
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