INTRODUCTION: A multicenter, open-label phase III study was conducted to test whether sunitinib plus paclitaxel prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) compared with bevacizumab plus paclitaxel as first-line treatment for patients with HER2(-) advanced breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with HER2(-) advanced breast cancer who were disease free for ≥ 12 months after adjuvant taxane treatment were randomized (1:1; planned enrollment 740 patients) to receive intravenous (I.V.) paclitaxel 90 mg/m(2) every week for 3 weeks in 4-week cycles plus either sunitinib 25 to 37.5 mg every day or bevacizumab 10 mg/kg I.V. every 2 weeks. [corrected] RESULTS: The trial was terminated early because of futility in reaching the primary endpoint as determined by the independent data monitoring committee during an interim futility analysis. At data cutoff, 242 patients had been randomized to sunitinib-paclitaxel and 243 patients to bevacizumab-paclitaxel. Median PFS was shorter with sunitinib-paclitaxel (7.4 vs. 9.2 months; hazard ratio [HR] 1.63 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18-2.25]; 1-sided P = .999). At a median follow-up of 8.1 months, with 79% of sunitinib-paclitaxel and 87% of bevacizumab-paclitaxel patients alive, overall survival analysis favored bevacizumab-paclitaxel (HR 1.82 [95% CI, 1.16-2.86]; 1-sided P = .996). The objective response rate was 32% in both arms, but median duration of response was shorter with sunitinib-paclitaxel (6.3 vs. 14.8 months). Bevacizumab-paclitaxel was better tolerated than sunitinib-paclitaxel. This was primarily due to a high frequency of grade 3/4, treatment-related neutropenia with sunitinib-paclitaxel (52%) precluding delivery of the prescribed doses of both drugs. CONCLUSION: The sunitinib-paclitaxel regimen evaluated in this study was clinically inferior to the bevacizumab-paclitaxel regimen and is not a recommended treatment option for patients with advanced breast cancer
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