Nab-Paclitaxel in Metastatic Breast Cancer

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The phase III CALGB 40502 compared nab-paclitaxel at 150-mg/m2, ixabepilone, and weekly paclitaxel as treatments for patients with chemotherapy-naive metastatic breast cancer. At a second interim analysis, weekly paclitaxel and nab-paclitaxel were found to be equivalent. The findings from this study could be related to the non-standard 150-mg/m2 dose of nab-paclitaxel that was used, notes Hope S. Rugo, MD. In many cases, less is not more, Rugo states.

Nab-paclitaxel is a useful drug for patients with diabetes. Additionally, the drug does not need to be administered with steroids and has a shorter infusion time, notes Sara Hurvitz, MD. Nab-paclitaxel can also be utilized for patients who respond well to paclitaxel and remain fit for further chemotherapy, Hurvitz adds.

Switching to nab-paclitaxel can alleviate the side effects associated with allergic reactions in patients treated with frontline docetaxel or paclitaxel, suggests Rugo. Additionally, switching to nab-paclitaxel could resolve other side effects, like interstitial pneumonitis, suggests Rugo.

Fatigue can be an issue with nab-paclitaxel; however, this can be resolved using dose reductions, notes Dialecti Voudouris, MD. Another benefit of nab-paclitaxel is its ability to elicit a response in patients who have already been treated with other taxanes, notes Voudouris.

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