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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Nov;142(2):381-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2742-4. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Phase II randomized trial of weekly and every-3-week ixabepilone in metastatic breast cancer patients.

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Compass Oncology, 5050 NE Hoyt Street, Suite 256, Portland, OR, 97213, USA,


This multicenter, open-label, randomized phase II trial compared the efficacy and tolerability of weekly ixabepilone versus the standard 3 weekly dosing regimen. Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) were randomly assigned to receive either ixabepilone 16 mg/m(2) as a 1-h intravenous (IV) infusion weekly on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle (1 week off therapy; n = 85), or 40 mg/m(2) as a 3-h IV infusion on day 1 of a 21-day cycle (n = 91), until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Randomization was stratified by (i) measurable versus nonmeasurable (evaluable) disease, (ii) ≤two versus >two prior chemotherapy regimens for MBC, and (iii) hormone receptor (HR)-positive versus HR-negative breast cancer. The primary endpoint was rate of progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months. Of 176 randomized patients, 171 were treated. The 6-month PFS rate was significantly higher in patients treated with ixabepilone every 3 weeks (42.7, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 31.5-53.5) compared with those who received ixabepilone weekly (28.6, 95 % CI 18.9-38.9; log-rank P = 0.03). Every-3-week dosing significantly prolonged median PFS versus weekly dosing (5.3 vs. 2.9 months; log-rank P = 0.05). The every-3-week regimen was associated with higher rates of grade 3/4 toxicities, particularly neutropenia (38.2 vs. 6.1 %) and a higher rate of patient withdrawal due to adverse events. These results suggest that every-3-week ixabepilone is more effective than weekly treatment in MBC, albeit with more toxicity.

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