Is salvage chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer always effective and well tolerated? A phase II randomized trial of vinorelbine versus 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin versus combination of mitoxantrone, 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin

Antonella Venturino, Danila Comandini, Carlotta Simoni, Laura Merlini, Cinzia Naso, Raffaella Palumbo, Vittorio Fusco, Gianfranco Porcile, Paolo Pronzato, Riccardo Rosso, Lazzaro Repetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Metastatic breast cancer remains an incurable disease and the median overall survival has not significantly improved over the past two decades. Aims of the present randomized phase II trial were to analyse activity and toxicity of chemotherapies with single agent or with combination regimens in previously treated patients with advanced breast cancer. Ninety-nine eligible patients were randomized to receive the following chemotherapies: Arm A - vinorelbine 30 mg/m 2 i.v. weekly; Arm B - leucovorin 100 mg/m 2 i.v. followed by 5-fluorouracil 370 mg/m 2 i.v. days 1 → 5, q 28 days; Arm C - mitoxantrone 12 mg/m 2 i.v. only day 1 + leucovorin 100 mg/m 2 i.v. followed by 5-fluorouracil 370 mg/m 2 i.v. days 1 → 3, q 28 days. Patients characteristics are comparable in the three groups. The median number of chemotherapy courses administered was 7, 6 and 5 in arm A, B and C, respectively. Objective responses were 24%, 30% and 21% and the median duration of responses were 2, 2.5 and 5.5 months in the arm A, B and C, respectively. Median overall survivals were 9.5, 9 and 9 months in the three arms. No difference was noted comparing the survivals of responding or non responding patients. General toxicity was not mild, with 27.5% of patients experiencing WHO grade 3-4 toxicities. Our results are similar in the three groups of patients and comparable to those reported by other authors. Chemotherapy applied to patients with second or subsequent recurrence allow objective responses in a small percentage of patients. Moreover responders have a negligible prolongation of survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Drugs combination
  • Salvage chemotherapy
  • Single-agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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