Taxanes for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Breast Cancer (Auckl). 2012;6:159-71. doi: 10.4137/BCBCR.S8205. Epub 2012 Oct 25.


Taxanes have remained a cornerstone of breast cancer treatment over the past three decades, improving the lives of patients with both early- and late-stage disease. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current role of taxanes, including an albumin-bound formulation that enhances delivery of paclitaxel to tumors, in the management of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Since the introduction of Cremophor EL-paclitaxel to the clinic in the mid-1990s, a substantial amount of investigation has gone into subjects such as formulation, dose, schedule, and taxane resistance, allowing physicians greater flexibility in treating patients with MBC. This review will also examine how the shrinking pool of taxane-naive patients, a result of the expansion of taxanes into the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings, will respond to taxane retreatment for metastatic disease. Taxane treatment seems likely to continue to play an important role in the treatment of MBC.

Keywords: docetaxel; metastatic breast cancer; nab-paclitaxel; paclitaxel; taxanes.