BACKGROUND: Vinflunine is the only chemotherapeutic agent shown to improve survival in platinum-refractory patients with metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium (TCCU) in a phase III clinical trial, which led to product registration for this indication in Europe. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of vinflunine and to evaluate the prognostic significance of risk factors in a large, unselected cohort of patients with metastatic TCCU treated according to routine clinical practice.
METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter study. Italian cancer centers were selected if, according to the Registry of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), at least four patients had been treated with vinflunine between February 2011 and June 2014, after first- or second-line platinum-based chemotherapy. The primary objective was to test whether the efficacy measured by overall survival (OS) in the registration study could be confirmed in routine clinical practice. Multivariate analysis was carried out using Cox proportional hazard model.
RESULTS: A total of 217 patients were treated in 28 Italian centers. Median age was 69 years (IQR 62-76) and 84% were male; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) was ≥ 1 in 53% of patients. The median number of cycles was 4 (IQR 2-6); 29%, 35%, and 36% received an initial dose of 320 mg/m(2), 280 mg/m(2) or a lower dose, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and OS for the entire population was 3.2 months (2.6-3.7) and 8.1 months (6.3-8.9). A complete response was observed in six patients, partial response in 21, stable disease in 60, progressive disease in 108, with a disease control rate of 40%. Multivariate analysis showed that ECOG PS, number of metastatic sites and liver involvement were unfavorable prognostic factors for OS. Toxicity was mild, and grade 3-4 adverse effects were mainly: neutropenia (9%), anemia (6%), asthenia/fatigue (7%) and constipation (5%).
CONCLUSIONS: In routine clinical practice the results obtained with VFL seem to be better than the results of the registration trial and reinforce evidence supporting its use after failure of a platinum-based chemotherapy.
- Journal Article