Importance of the field: Since the introduction of taxane-based chemotherapy for advanced solid tumors in the 1990s, the median overall survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer increased from 2 years to almost 5 years. Similarly, the 5-year overall survival for ovarian cancer has increased from 30% to more than 40%.
Areas covered in this review: Patupilone is a novel cytotoxic compound, with similar microtubule-binding and apoptotic properties of taxanes and is active in taxane-resistant cell lines. Over 1200 patients have been treated with patupilone in Phase I - III clinical trials and a wealth of knowledge has accumulated about this compound. This review discusses current pharmacology and data from clinical trials with patupilone from the last seven years.
What the reader will gain: We present a comprehensive summary of data from Phase II and III trials, as well as an overview of currently accruing trials.
Take home message: Although patupilone has not demonstrated superiority over pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in a large Phase III trial in relapsed or refractory ovarian cancer, its evaluation is continuing in a range of other malignancies, especially in primary or secondary tumors of the CNS.