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J Clin Oncol. 1993 Jul;11(7):1245-52.

Phase II trial of weekly intravenous vinorelbine in first-line advanced breast cancer chemotherapy.

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  • 1Pierre Fabre Research Centre, Boulogne, France.



This study investigated the therapeutic effects of single-agent intravenous (IV) weekly Navelbine (vinorelbine or 5'-nor-anhydro-vinblastine; Pierre Fabre M├ędicament, Boulogne, France), a semisynthetic vinca alkaloid, in women who had received no prior chemotherapy for locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.


One hundred fifty-seven patients with assessable advanced or metastatic breast cancer who had received no prior chemotherapy were entered onto the study. They were stratified into five groups according to the main assessable tumor target: lung, liver, lymph nodes, skin, and others. One hundred forty-five patients were assessable for toxicity and response using World Health Organization (WHO) criteria; the 12 patients who were not evaluated were excluded because they were found not to meet the eligibility criteria. Navelbine was administered as a weekly 30-mg/m2 short IV infusion, and treatment was continued until disease progression.


The overall response rate (WHO criteria) was 41% (complete response [CR], 7%; partial response [PR], 34%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 33% to 49%). In addition, 30% of the patients had stable disease. The response rate according to target was lymph nodes (28 of 42), 67%; liver (nine of 39), 23%; lung (10 of 30), 33%; skin (21 of 30), 70%; primary tumor (10 of 16), 56%; and bone (three of 10), 30%. The median time to treatment failure was 6 months and the median survival was 18 months. A total of 1,673 cycles were given to 145 eligible patients. At least one episode of WHO grade 3 or 4 granulocytopenia was seen in 72% of the patients. Nausea and/or vomiting, anemia, and/or thrombocytopenia were seen in less than 1% of cycles. Other side effects were rare, and additional toxicities were documented in the following proportions of patients: grade 2 to 3 alopecia, 8%; infectious episodes, 6%; and peripheral neuropathy, 3%.


Our data confirm that Navelbine has major single-agent antitumor activity as front-line therapy in advanced breast cancer. Given its excellent tolerance profile and low toxicity, it should be considered for inclusion in first-line combination chemotherapy regimens.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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