Weekly paclitaxel (P) in combination with bevacizumab (B) is an effective regimen as initial treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). We investigated in a phase II study the activity of the same regimen as salvage therapy in MBC.
Pretreated women with MBC received weekly P (90 mg/m(2) days 1, 8, 15) and B (10 mg/kg days 1, 15) every 28 days. B could continue after discontinuing P until disease progression. This was second-line chemotherapy for 30% and third-line or more for 70% of patients.
A total of 40 patients were enrolled. Median age: 61 (range 32-80) years; postmenopausal: 80%; baseline ECOG performance status <2 in 80% of patients. Two patients (5%) achieved complete response, 10 (25%) partial response (overall response rate 30%; 95% CI 15.8-44.2), and 10 (25%) stable disease. The response rate was 28% for the patients who had previously received taxanes. After a median follow-up of 20.6 months, the median time to progression was 4.8 months (95% CI 1.7-7.8), median survival 13.0 months (95% CI 10.3-15.7), and the probability of 1-year survival 55.5%. Main grade 3-4 toxicities were neutropenia 42.5%, febrile neutropenia 5%, and asthenia 10%. There was one toxic death due to sepsis.
The PB regimen is well tolerated and active as salvage therapy in pretreated women with MBC. It could be an effective option even for patients exposed to taxanes during prior treatments.