In a nutshell
This study wanted to see how well using metronomic chemotherapy with capecitabine (Xeloda) combined with aromatase inhibitors works for patients with hormone receptor positive advanced breast cancer. The study found that this treatment works well and is safe, and therefore should be considered as a potential treatment option.
Some types of breast cancer have receptors on the surface of the cells which respond to hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. These types of cancer are called hormone receptor positive, or HR+. In patients with HR+ breast cancer, chemotherapy is often used alongside a treatment that attacks these hormone receptors. One of the medications that attacks these hormone receptors is called an aromatase inhibitor.
Metronomic chemotherapy is used when patients are not able to use conventional chemotherapy. It involves lower doses of medication, but taken closer together. This is compared to conventional chemotherapy, which would be large doses of medication but with longer breaks in between treatment. It is not known if using metronomic chemotherapy is effective in HR+ advanced breast cancer.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 44 patients with HR+ advanced breast cancer. All of these patients had issues with conventional chemotherapy. These patients received low dose treatment with a chemotherapy medication called capecitabine, and aromatase inhibitors every day, instead of higher doses every few weeks. The patients were followed for an average of 15 months after treatment.
It was found that four out of the 44 patients had side effects. The most common side effect was hand-foot syndrome, where the skin on the hands or feet gets red, swells, and blisters. The rest of the patients had no toxic side effects. Overall, 71% of patients responded to the treatment. On average the patients went 16.2 months without their cancer progressing
The bottom line
The authors found that metronomic chemotherapy using capecitabine and aromatase inhibitors in patients with advanced HR+ breast cancer is safe and effective.
The fine print
This is a very small study. There was no group to compare the results to. This study was performed mostly to test the safety of this method. More results will come soon.
Discuss with your oncologist what your treatment options are, and if metronomic chemotherapy might be an option for you.
Published By :
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Oct 25, 2018
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