New drugs and hormones

O. Gottardi, F. Scanzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer is chemosensitive but, in the advanced stage, it is less likely to be cured. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment in the early stages of the disease is more and more important. However, a percentage of patients relapse after adjuvant treatment and, at that point, the tumor is often resistant to most of the previously used drugs. Hence the constant search for new, effective and non-resistant drugs to be used in the advanced stage of the disease. In recent years research has given us several interesting drugs but, apart from taxanes, there are not many promising ones. In monochemotherapy Taxol has reached objective response rates around 40-60%, Vinorelbine around 35-50%, Idarubicin around 12-33%. These rates increase when the drugs are used in polichemotherapy formulas. The new antimetabolites (Trimetrexate, Edatrexate, Piritrexim) need further studies and confirmation. As far as hormonal therapy is concerned, the new aromatase inhibitors (Formestane, Examestane, Letrozole) giving objective response rates around 20-40%, in metastatic disease have proved to be an effective and well-tolerated second line therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalOspedale Maggiore
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • aromatase inhibitors
  • breast cancer
  • Idarubicin
  • new vinca alkaloids
  • taxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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