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Vinorelbine And Paclitaxel As First-Line Chemotherapy In Metastatic Breast Cancer

L. Romero Acuña, M. Langhi, J. Pérez, J. Romero Acuña, M. Machiavelli, J. Lacava, C. Vallejo, A. Romero, H. Fasce, E. Ortiz, S. Grasso, S. Amato, R. Rodríguez, M. Barbieri, B. Leone

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PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a combination of vinorelbine (VNB) and paclitaxel (PTX) as first-line chemotherapy in metastatic breast carcinoma (MBC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between August 1995 and August 1997, 49 patients with untreated MBC received a regimen that consisted of VNB 30 mg/m2 in a 20-minute intravenous (IV) infusion on days 1 and 8 and PTX 135 mg/m2 in a 3-hour IV infusion (starting 1 hour after VNB) on day 1. Cycles were repeated every 28 days. The median age of the patients was 52 years, and 59% of patients were postmenopausal. Median performance status was 1. Dominant sites of disease were soft tissue in 6%, bone in 29%, and viscera in 65%. RESULTS: Objective responses were recorded in 27 of 45 assessable patients (60%; 95% confidence interval, 46% to 74%). Complete remissions occurred in three patients (7%), and partial remissions occurred in 24 patients (53%). No change was recorded in 12 patients (27%), and progressive disease occurred in six patients (13%). The median time to treatment failure was 7 months, and median survival duration was 17 months. The limiting toxicity was myelosuppression, mainly leukopenia in 49 patients (100%) (grade 1 to grade 2, four patients; grade 3, 30 patients; and grade 4, 15 patients). Neutropenia was observed in 100% of patients (grade 1 to grade 2, three patients; grade 3, 11 patients; grade 4, 35 patients). Two treatment-related deaths due to febrile neutropenia were observed in patients with massive liver involvement. Peripheral neurotoxicity developed in 33 patients (67%) (grade 1, 25 patients; grade 2, eight patients); there were no grade 3 or grade 4 episodes. CONCLUSION: The combination of VNB-PTX showed significant activity as first-line chemotherapy for patients with MBC. Myelosuppression was the dose-limiting side effect, whereas neurotoxicity was mild to moderate.