A prospective randomized study of megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in gastrointestinal cancer patients with weight loss. (1/90)

The use of megestrol acetate in the treatment of weight loss in gastrointestinal cancer patients has been disappointing. The aim of the present study was to compare the combination of megestrol acetate and placebo with megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in the treatment of weight loss in such patients. At baseline, 4-6 weeks and 12 weeks, patients underwent measurements of anthropometry, concentrations of albumin and C-reactive protein and assessment of appetite, performance status and quality of life using EuroQol-EQ-5D and EORTC QLQ-C30. Thirty-eight and 35 patients (median weight loss 18%) were randomized to megestrol acetate/placebo or megestrol acetate/ibuprofen, respectively, for 12 weeks. Forty-six (63%) of patients failed to complete the 12-week assessment. Of those evaluable at 12 weeks, there was a decrease in weight (median 2.8 kg) in the megestrol acetate/placebo group compared with an increase (median 2.3 kg) in the megestrol acetate/ibuprofen group (P<0.001). There was also an improvement in the EuroQol-EQ-5D quality of life scores of the latter group (P<0.05). The combination of megestrol acetate/ibuprofen appeared to reverse weight loss and appeared to improve quality of life in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer. Further trials of this novel regimen in weight-losing patients with hormone-insensitive cancers are warranted.  (+info)

Randomized phase III trial comparing the new potent and selective third-generation aromatase inhibitor vorozole with megestrol acetate in postmenopausal advanced breast cancer patients. North American Vorozole Study Group. (2/90)

PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy and safety of vorozole (VOR) 2.5 mg once daily with that of megestrol acetate (MA) 40 mg four times per day as second-line therapy in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer whose disease progressed after tamoxifen treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 452 patients were enrolled onto an open, multicenter, randomized phase III trial comparing VOR to MA for tumor response, safety, and quality of life (as indicated by the Functional Living Index-Cancer score). RESULTS: Vorozole produced a response rate of 9.7%, compared with 6.8% for MA (P = .24). Clinical benefit (complete response + partial response + no change in > 6 months) was demonstrated in 23.5% and 27.2% of patients treated with VOR and MA, respectively (P = .42). Median duration of response was 18.2 months for VOR versus 12.5 months for MA (P = .074). There was no significant difference in time to progression or survival between the treatment groups. Discontinuation of treatment because of adverse events occurred less frequently in the VOR-treated group (3.1% v 6.2%; P = .18). Patients on the VOR arm reported significantly more nausea, hot flushes, arthralgia, upper respiratory tract infection, anorexia, and paresthesia, whereas those treated with MA had significantly more dyspnea, increased appetite, and weight increase. There was no difference between the two treatment groups in Functional Living Index-Cancer scores (total or subscales). However, when analyzed by objective response, patients with complete or partial responses (P = .032) or no change (P = .033) who were receiving VOR had significant improvement in the psychologic well-being subscale, compared with patients given MA. CONCLUSION: Vorozole is well tolerated and as effective as MA in the treatment of postmenopausal advanced breast cancer patients with disease progression after tamoxifen treatment.  (+info)

Dose-response trial of megestrol acetate in advanced breast cancer: cancer and leukemia group B phase III study 8741. (3/90)

PURPOSE: To investigate whether dose escalation of megestrol acetate (MA) improves response rate and survival in comparison with standard doses of MA. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three hundred sixty-eight patients with metastatic breast cancer, positive and/or unknown estrogen and progesterone receptors, zero or one prior trial of hormonal therapy, and no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease were prospectively randomized into three groups. The groups of patients received either MA 160 mg/d (one tablet per day), MA 800 mg/d (five tablets per day), or MA 1,600 mg/d (10 tablets per day). RESULTS: Patient characteristics were well balanced in the three treatment groups. Three hundred sixty-six patients received treatment and were included in the analyses. The response rates were 23%, 27%, and 27% for the 160-mg, 800-mg, and 1,600-mg arms, respectively. Response duration correlated inversely with dose. Median durations of response were 17 months, 14 months, and 8 months for the 160-mg, 800-mg, and 1,600-mg arms, respectively. No significant differences in the treatment arms were noted for time to disease progression or for survival; survival medians were 28 months (low dose), 24 months (mid dose) and 29 months (high dose). The most frequent and troublesome toxicity, weight gain, was dose-related, with approximately 20% of patients on the two higher-dose arms reporting weight gain of more than 20% of their prestudy weight, compared with only 2% in the 160-mg dose arm. CONCLUSION: With a median follow-up of 8 years, these results demonstrate no advantage for dose escalation of MA in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.  (+info)

Randomized comparison of megestrol acetate versus dexamethasone versus fluoxymesterone for the treatment of cancer anorexia/cachexia. (4/90)

PURPOSE: Previous double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that both corticosteroids and progestational agents do partially alleviate cancer anorexia/cachexia. Pilot information suggested that an anabolic corticosteroid might also improve appetite in patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia. The current trial was developed to compare and contrast a progestational agent, a corticosteroid, and an anabolic corticosteroid for the treatment of cancer anorexia/cachexia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients suffering from cancer anorexia/cachexia were randomized to receive either dexamethasone 0. 75 mg qid, megestrol acetate 800 mg orally every day, or fluoxymesterone 10 mg orally bid. Patients were observed at monthly intervals to evaluate weight changes and drug toxicity. Patients also completed questionnaires at baseline and at monthly intervals to evaluate appetite and drug toxicities. RESULTS: Fluoxymesterone resulted in significantly less appetite enhancement and did not have a favorable toxicity profile. Megestrol acetate and dexamethasone caused a similar degree of appetite enhancement and similar changes in nonfluid weight status, with nonsignificant trends favoring megestrol acetate for both of these parameters. Dexamethasone was observed to have more corticosteroid-type toxicity and a higher rate of drug discontinuation because of toxicity and/or patient refusal than megestrol acetate (36% v 25%; P =.03). Megestrol acetate had a higher rate of deep venous thrombosis than dexamethasone (5% v 1%; P =.06). CONCLUSION: Whereas fluoxymesterone clearly seems to be an inferior choice for treating cancer anorexia/cachexia, megestrol acetate and dexamethasone have similar appetite stimulating efficacy but differing toxicity profiles.  (+info)

Defining clinical benefit in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer under second-line endocrine treatment: does quality of life matter? (5/90)

PURPOSE: In endocrine therapy trials in advanced breast cancer, patients with response (complete response/partial response [CR/PR]) and patients with stable disease for at least 6 months (SD(6m)) have shown similar survival and therefore are often defined as a population with clinical benefit (patients with CR/PR or SD(6m)). We evaluated the impact of response and/or clinical benefit on quality of life (QL) in postmenopausal patients under second-line endocrine treatment after failure of tamoxifen. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred twenty-eight of 177 eligible patients of a randomized trial (Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research 20/90) receiving either formestane (250 mg intramuscularly biweekly) or megestrol acetate (160 mg orally daily) were analyzed. The baseline characteristics (with the exception of site of metastases) were balanced among patients with CR/PR, SD(6m), and progressive disease (PD). Patients completed QL indicators at baseline and at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 months. Responders were separately compared with nonresponders (patients with SD(6m) or PD) and with patients with SD(6m), and patients with clinical benefit were compared with patients with PD by analysis of covariance with adjustment for baseline scores. RESULTS: Overall, 88% (557 of 634) of expected QL forms were received. In the comparison of responders versus patients with both SD(6m) and PD, responders indicated better physical well-being (P =. 004) and mood (P =.02) at month 3. Compared only with patients with SD(6m), responders showed no significant difference in baseline QL and time to treatment failure (328.5 v 340 days). While under treatment, responders reported significantly better physical well-being (months 3 to 11), mood (months 5 to 11), coping (months 5 to 9), and appetite (months 7 to 11) and less dizziness (month 9) than patients with SD(6m). The changes between baseline and months 5 and 7, respectively, indicated improvement in responders but heterogeneous patterns in patients with SD(6m). CONCLUSION: Although the CR/PR and SD(6m) groups had similar times to treatment failure, patients with CR/PR reported better QL, suggesting more beneficial response to second-line endocrine treatment. Patients' subjective perspective should be taken into account in this mainly palliative setting. Future trials should be designed so that the CR/PR and SD(6m) groups are investigated separately.  (+info)

Exemestane is superior to megestrol acetate after tamoxifen failure in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer: results of a phase III randomized double-blind trial. The Exemestane Study Group. (6/90)

PURPOSE: This phase III, double-blind, randomized, multicenter study evaluated the efficacy, pharmacodynamics, and safety of the oral aromatase inactivator exemestane (EXE) versus megestrol acetate (MA) in postmenopausal women with progressive advanced breast cancer who experienced failure of tamoxifen. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 769 patients were randomized to EXE 25 mg/d (n = 366) or MA (n = 403) 40 mg four times daily. Tumor response, duration of tumor control, tumor-related signs and symptoms (TRSS), quality of life (QOL), survival, and tolerability were evaluated. RESULTS: Overall objective response (OR) rates were higher in patients treated with EXE than in those treated with MA (15.0% v 12.4%); a similar trend was noted in patients with visceral metastases (13.5% v 10.5%). Median survival time was significantly longer with EXE (median not reached) than with MA (123.4 weeks; P =.039), as were the median duration of overall success (OR or stable disease > or = 24 weeks; 60.1 v 49.1 weeks; P =.025), time to tumor progression (20.3 v 16.6 weeks; P =.037), and time to treatment failure (16.3 v 15.7 weeks; P =.042). Compared with MA, there were similar or greater improvements in pain, TRSS, and QOL with EXE. Both drugs were well tolerated. Grade 3 or 4 weight changes were more common with MA (17.1% v 7.6%; P =.001). CONCLUSION: EXE prolongs survival time, time to tumor progression, and time to treatment failure compared with MA and offers a well-tolerated treatment option for postmenopausal women with progressive advanced breast cancer who experienced failure of tamoxifen.  (+info)

Phase I trial of paclitaxel plus megestrol acetate in patients with paclitaxel-refractory ovarian cancer. (7/90)

Increased expression of P-glycoprotein has been proposed as one important mechanism for inherent or acquired drug resistance of malignant disease to cytotoxic chemotherapy. In experimental systems, hormonal agents, including megestrol acetate (MA), have been shown to be capable of reversing P-glycoprotein-mediated multidrug resistance to natural products, including paclitaxel. Because paclitaxel is one of the most active cytotoxic agents in ovarian cancer (OC), we sought to determine whether retreating patients with well-defined paclitaxel-resistant OC with a combination of paclitaxel and MA would result in clinically relevant reversal of that resistant state. In this Phase I trial, 44 patients with OC or primary peritoneal carcinoma received paclitaxel (135-175 mg/m2 over 3 h) plus an oral loading dose (800-9600 mg over 24 h) and subsequent maintenance dose (800-3200 mg/day x 3 days) of micronized MA. Both the loading dose and maintenance therapy were delivered in four equal daily doses. Therapy was repeated every 21 days, assuming recovery from the toxicity of the prior course. There were no intrapatient dose escalations. The major toxicity of the regimen was peripheral neuropathy (32% of patients; 11% grade 2-3), although four individuals developed major venous blood clots and one suffered a stroke. Four patients exhibited biological evidence of antineoplastic effects, although only one patient experienced improvement in clinically relevant symptoms. Although pharmacokinetic studies were not performed as a component of this study, prior evaluation of MA pharmacokinetics and in vitro data examining the concentrations of the agent required to reverse P-glycoprotein-mediated paclitaxel resistance suggest that the majority of our patient population achieved levels of MA theoretically capable of producing this desired effect. We conclude that the level of activity and toxicity pattern observed in this trial, associated with the combination of paclitaxel and MA, does not provide strong support for further exploration of the regimen as a treatment strategy to overcome paclitaxel resistance in OC.  (+info)

Phase III, multicenter, double-blind, randomized study of letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, for advanced breast cancer versus megestrol acetate. (8/90)

PURPOSE: To compare two doses of letrozole (0.5 mg and 2.5 mg every day) and megestrol acetate (40 mg qid) as endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer previously treated with antiestrogens. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This double-blind, randomized, multicenter, multinational study enrolled 602 patients, all of whom were included in the primary analysis in the protocol. Patients had advanced or metastatic breast cancer with evidence of disease progression while receiving continuous adjuvant antiestrogen therapy, had experienced relapse within 12 months of stopping adjuvant antiestrogen therapy given for at least 6 months, or had experienced disease progression while receiving antiestrogen therapy for advanced disease. Tumors were required to be estrogen receptor- and/or progesterone receptor-positive or of unknown status. Confirmed objective response rate was the primary efficacy variable. Karnofsky Performance Status and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life assessments were collected for 1 year. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences among the three treatment groups for overall objective tumor response. Patients treated with letrozole 0.5 mg had improvements in disease progression (P =.044) and a decreased risk of treatment failure (P =.018), compared with patients treated with megestrol acetate. Letrozole 0.5 mg showed a trend (P =.053) for survival benefit when compared with megestrol acetate. Megestrol acetate was more likely to produce weight gain, dyspnea, and vaginal bleeding, and the letrozole groups were more likely to experience headache, hair thinning, and diarrhea. CONCLUSION: Given a favorable tolerability profile, once-daily dosing, and evidence of clinically relevant benefit, letrozole is equivalent to megestrol acetate and should be considered for use as an alternative treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women after treatment failure with antiestrogens.  (+info)