Purpose: ABI-007, the first biologically interactive albumin-bound paclitaxel in a nanameter particle, free of solvents, was compared with polyethylated castor oil-based standard paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). This phase III study was performed to confirm preclinical studies demonstrating superior efficacy and reduced toxicity of ABI-007 compared with standard paclitaxel.
Patients and methods: Patients were randomly assigned to 3-week cycles of either ABI-007 260 mg/m(2) intravenously without premedication (n = 229) or standard paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2) intravenously with premedication (n = 225).
Results: ABI-007 demonstrated significantly higher response rates compared with standard paclitaxel (33% v 19%, respectively; P = .001) and significantly longer time to tumor progression (23.0 v 16.9 weeks, respectively; hazard ratio = 0.75; P = .006). The incidence of grade 4 neutropenia was significantly lower for ABI-007 compared with standard paclitaxel (9% v 22%, respectively; P < .001) despite a 49% higher paclitaxel dose. Febrile neutropenia was uncommon (< 2%), and the incidence did not differ between the two study arms. Grade 3 sensory neuropathy was more common in the ABI-007 arm than in the standard paclitaxel arm (10% v 2%, respectively; P < .001) but was easily managed and improved rapidly (median, 22 days). No hypersensitivity reactions occurred with ABI-007 despite the absence of premedication and shorter administration time.
Conclusion: ABI-007 demonstrated greater efficacy and a favorable safety profile compared with standard paclitaxel in this patient population. The improved therapeutic index and elimination of corticosteroid premedication required for solvent-based taxanes make the novel albumin-bound paclitaxel ABI-007 an important advance in the treatment of MBC.