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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2009

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 4/2009

Phase II study of an all-oral combination of vinorelbine with capecitabine in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology > Ausgabe 4/2009
Franco Nolè, D. Crivellari, R. Mattioli, G. Pinotti, P. Foa, E. Verri, R. Fougeray, M. Brandely, A. Goldhirsch



Combination of intravenous (i.v.) vinorelbine and capecitabine was shown to be feasible and effective in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). In an effort to improve patient convenience and to prolong infusion-free survival, we investigated in first-line treatment a regimen combining oral vinorelbine and capecitabine in a phase II study.

Patients and methods

Fifty-two patients (median age, 60 years) with MBC received the combination consisting of oral vinorelbine 60 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15 plus capecitabine 1,000 mg/m2 bid given from day 1 to day 14 in an open-label, multicentre phase II study [the recommended doses were established in a phase I study (Nolé et al. in Ann Oncol 17:332–339, 2006)]. Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks.


Seventy-nine percent of the patients had received prior adjuvant chemotherapy and 81% presented with visceral involvement. The median number of administered cycles per patient was 7 (range 1–18). Twenty-three responses were documented and validated by an independent panel review, yielding response rates of 44.2% (95% CI, 30.5–58.7) in the 52 enrolled patients and 54.8% (95% CI, 38.7–70.2) in the 42 evaluable patients. Median progression-free survival and median overall survival were 8.4 and 25.8 months, respectively. Neutropenia was the main dose-limiting toxicity but complications were uncommon, only one patient having experienced febrile neutropenia. Other frequently reported adverse events included, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome, which were rarely severe.


This regimen combining oral vinorelbine with capecitabine is effective and manageable in the first-line treatment of MBC. Oral vinorelbine on days 1, 8 and 15 with capecitabine from days 1 to 14 every 3 weeks represents a convenient option which offers an all-oral treatment to the patients and prolongs their infusion-free survival.

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