INTRODUCTION: Vinflunine is a microtubule inhibitor approved in Europe as second-line treatment of advanced transitional cell cancer of the urothelium (TCCU). The inability to continue with a first-line platinum-based regimen beyond 6 cycles suggested investigating the use of vinflunine as switch maintenance therapy in patients with response or stable disease after first-line therapy.
METHODS: Patients with advanced TCCU and documented disease control after 3-6 cycles of first-line platinum-based chemotherapy received vinflunine maintenance therapy within 6 weeks of the last cycle. Our analysis aimed to examine the performance of vinflunine in terms of activity and safety in such a patient population.
RESULTS: 28 consecutive patients were studied. After a median follow-up of 25 months, vinflunine was associated with a median progression-free survival of 9 months (range 4 to > 16 months) and a disease control rate of 64%; median overall survival was not reached. Treatment was well tolerated, with no unexpected safety events. The most common adverse events of grade ≥ 3 were neutropenia (21%) and constipation (14%); no toxicity-related death occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that vinflunine may be a suitable maintenance treatment option for TCCU patients who received a maximum of 6 cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy commonly used as first-line treatment.