Phase II study of pemetrexed in breast cancer patients pretreated with anthracyclines
Martin M., Spielmann M., Namer M., duBois A., Unger C., Dodwell D., Vodvarka P., Lind M., Calvert H., Casado A., Zelek L., Lluch A., Carrasco E., Kayitalire L., Zielinski C.
Background: To assess antitumor activity and toxicity of pemetrexed in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients previously treated with anthracyclines. Patients and methods: Seventy-seven MBC patients from 12 European institutions were entered into the study. Seventy-two patients were considered evaluable for response and toxicity. Forty-two patients were classified as anthracycline-failure (relapse >30 days after completion of a prior anthracycline regimen) and 30 as anthracycline-refractory (progression within 30 days after anthracycline therapy). Pemetrexed 600 mg/m2 was administered intravenously every 3 weeks until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. Results: There were three complete and 12 partial responders [response rate 21% (95% confidence interval 12%)]. Response rates in the anthracycline-failure and anthracycline-refractory groups were 24% and 17%, respectively. A subset of 31 patients pretreated with anthracyclines and taxanes had a response rate of 26%. Median duration of response and median survival were 5.5 and 10.7 months, respectively (13 months in the failure group and 5.7 months for refractory). Grade 3/4 toxicities included neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in 56% and 19% of patients, respectively. Nine patients (12%) experienced neutropenic fever. Grade 3/4 non-hematological toxicities included skin rash (10%), nausea (12%), fatigue (10%) and stomatitis (5%). Conclusion: Our trial demonstrates pemetrexed to be active in breast cancer, with manageable toxicity. Activity of pemetrexed did not appear to be adversely affected by prior taxane, 5-fluorouracil or endocrine treatments.