Safety of the synthetic retinoid fenretinide: Long-term results from a controlled clinical trial for the prevention of contralateral breast cancer

T. Camerini, L. Mariani, G. De Palo, E. Marubini, M. G. Di Mauro, A. Decensi, A. Costa, U. Veronesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the pattern of occurrence of adverse events commonly arislng during treatment with fenretinide, a synthetic retinoid under investigation for cancer prevention. Patients and Methods: The series includes 2,867 women accrued in a trial aimed at assessing the effect of fenretinide on the prevention of second breast malignancy. Women were randomly assigned to receive no treatment (1,435 patients) or 5-year fenretinide treatment (1,432 patients). In terms of disease recurrente in the breast, the trial showed a possible beneficial effect of the compound in premenopausal women, and an opposite trend in postmenopausal women. End points considered for safety assessment were the occurrence of diminished dark adaptation, dermatologic disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, disorders of the ocular surface, and abnormal laboratory values. Results: The most common adverse events were diminished dark adaptation (cumulative incidence, 19.0%) and dermatologic disorders (18.6%). Less common events were gastrointestinal symptoms (13.0%) and disorders of the ocular surface (10.9%). In comparison, incidence figures in the control arm were 2.9% for diminished dark adaptation, 2.9% for dermatologic disorders, 5.4% for gastrointestinal symptoms, and 3.2% for disorders of the ocular surface. Symptoms occurring during fenretinide treatment tended to recover with time. No between-group difference was observed for the occurrence of laboratory data abnormalities. Overall, 63 (4.4%) treatment discontinuations were caused by adverse events. Conclusion: Given the number of patients involved in the study and the prolonged intake of the drug, the experience on fenretinide tolerability can be considered sufficiently reassuring to justify further testing of the retinoid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1670
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume19
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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