Purpose: To explore further the efficacy of high-dose toremifene in patients with advanced breast cancer who had failed to respond to tamoxifen or whose disease had progressed on tamoxifen. Patients and Methods: One hundred two perimenopausal or postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer refractory to tamoxifen were entered onto a phase II clinical trial of toremifene at a dose of 200 mg/d. The study patients consisted of 28 primarily refractory patients; 43 patients who had relapsed after a prior tamoxifen response; and 31 patients who had relapsed while receiving adjuvant tamoxifen. This was a heavily pretreated group of patients, with 65% having failed chemotherapeutic attempts and 72% having failed two or more hormonal therapies. Forty-nine percent of patients had visceral dominant disease. Results: The objective response rate was 5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3% to 7%). The median time to treatment failure (TTF) was 10.9 months for the five responders. An additional 23% of patients had stable disease for a median TTF of 7.8 months, whereas the patients who experienced treatment failure had a median TTF of 2.1 months. Whether those patients with stable disease derived clinical benefit or simply had slow progression in an intrinsically indolent disease presentation is uncertain. Common toxicities were generally mild and similar to those encountered with tamoxifen. Conclusion: We conclude that there is major cross-resistance between tamoxifen and toremifene and that only occasional tamoxifen-refractory patients will have objective responses to toremifene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research