PurposeWe assessed adding the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib to gemcitabine or capecitabine in patients with advanced breast cancer whose disease progressed during/after bevacizumab.
Experimental designThis double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase IIb study (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00493636) enrolled patients with locally advanced or metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer and prior bevacizumab treatment. Patients were randomized to chemotherapy with sorafenib (400 mg, twice daily) or matching placebo. Initially, chemotherapy was gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) i.v., days 1, 8/21), but later, capecitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) orally twice daily, days 1-14/21) was allowed as an alternative. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS).
ResultsOne hundred and sixty patients were randomized. More patients received gemcitabine (82.5%) than capecitabine (17.5%). Sorafenib plus gemcitabine/capecitabine was associated with a statistically significant prolongation in PFS versus placebo plus gemcitabine/capecitabine [3.4 vs. 2.7 months; HR = 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.45-0.95; P = 0.02], time to progression was increased (median, 3.6 vs. 2.7 months; HR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.44-0.93; P = 0.02), and overall response rate was 19.8% versus 12.7% (P = 0.23). Median survival was 13.4 versus 11.4 months for sorafenib versus placebo (HR = 1.01; 95% CI: 0.71-1.44; P = 0.95). Addition of sorafenib versus placebo increased grade 3/4 hand-foot skin reaction (39% vs. 5%), stomatitis (10% vs. 0%), fatigue (18% vs. 9%), and dose reductions that were more frequent (51.9% vs. 7.8%).
ConclusionThe addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine/capecitabine provided a clinically small but statistically significant PFS benefit in HER2-negative advanced breast cancer patients whose disease progressed during/after bevacizumab. Combination treatment was associated with manageable toxicities but frequently required dose reductions.