- Paper Report
- Open Access
Liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin in metastatic breast cancer
- Richard de Boer1
© Biomed Central Ltd 2001
- Received: 26 April 2001
- Accepted: 20 August 2001
- Published: 1 December 2001
- Cardiotoxicity, doxorubicin, liposome, metastatic breast cancer
Encapsulating chemotherapy agents within liposomes offers the potential for reduced toxicity and improved efficacy. This is due to the preference for liposomes to exit the circulation in tissues where capillary junctions have been disrupted and are not tightly bound, i.e. areas of tumour growth. Cardiac toxicity is a major side effect of doxorubicin, one of the most active chemotherapy agents in the treatment of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to determine whether liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin (LED), combined with cyclophosphamide, reduced doxorubicin cardiotoxicity while maintaining antitumour efficacy in first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Cardiac toxicity was significantly reduced in patients receiving LED in combination with cyclophosphamide (LEDC) (6% versus 21%, P = 0.0002), as was grade 4 neutropenia (61% versus 75%, P = 0.017). Antitumour efficacy of LEDC versus conventional doxorubicin in combination with cyclophosphamide was comparable at all levels assessed: objective response rates (43% versus 43%); median time to progression (5.1 versus 5.5 months); median time to treatment failure (4.6 versus 4.4 months); and median survival (19 versus 16 months). The authors concluded that LED improves the therapeutic index of doxorubicin by significantly reducing cardiotoxicity without compromising antitumour efficacy.
Randomised controlled trial; assessment of objective tumour response rates, time to progression, and survival; serial multigated radionuclide angiography scans; congestive heart failure diagnosis
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