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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Oct 1;13(19):5862-8.

Inflammatory breast cancer as a model disease to study tumor angiogenesis: results of a phase IB trial of combination SU5416 and doxorubicin.

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  • 1Connecticut Oncology & Hematology Associates/US Oncology, Torrington, Connecticut 06790, USA.



We used inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) as a model disease to investigate biological changes associated with an antiangiogenesis agent, SU5416, combined with doxorubicin.


Patients with stage IIIB or IV IBC were treated neoadjuvantly with the combination of SU5416 and doxorubicin for induction therapy. The dose of SU5416 (administered on days 1 and 4, every 3 weeks) and doxorubicin (administered on day 1 every 3 weeks) were escalated in cohorts of three patients starting at 110 and 60 mg/m2, respectively, for a total of five cycles leading up to mastectomy. Patients underwent serial assessment (pharmacokinetic sampling, biopsy of breast, tumor blood flow dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, plasma angiogenesis, and endothelial cell damage markers) prior to treatment, at the end of cycles no. 2 and no. 5, and after mastectomy.


Eighteen patients were enrolled; neutropenia was dose-limiting, and overall median survival was not reached (50 months of study follow-up). Four patients (22%) experienced congestive heart failure, which resolved and were likely attributable to a smaller volume of distribution and higher Cmax of doxorubicin in combination with SU5416. We did observe a significant decline in tumor blood flow using Kep calculated by Brix (pretreatment versus post-cycle no. 5; P = 0.033), trend for a decline in tumor microvessel density after treatment, and low baseline levels of soluble intracellular adhesion molecule were associated with improved event-free survival.


This study showed evidence of an unfavorable cardiac interaction between SU5416 and doxorubicin, which prohibits further investigation of this combination. However, this study supports the importance of using IBC as a model for investigating angiogenesis inhibitors.

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