Purpose Dose-limiting neuropathy is a major adverse event associated with most of the microtubule-stabilizing agentbased chemotherapy regimens. Ixabepilone, a semisynthetic analogue of the natural epothilone B, has activity against a wide range of tumor types. Peripheral neuropathy (PN), associated with ixabepilone treatment, is usually mild to moderate, predominantly sensory and cumulative. Preclinical studies demonstrate that ixabepilone and taxanes produce a similar neurotoxicity profile. Methods We searched databases of phase II/III clinical trials involving patients receiving ixabepilone as a monotherapy or in combination with capecitabine for incidences of neuropathy. Potential risk factors for grade 3/4 PN were identified by a Cox regression analysis on a dataset of 1,540 patients with different tumor types across multiple studies. Results Rates for incidence of ixabepilone-induced severe PN (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3/4) ranged from 1% in early untreated breast cancer up to 24% in heavily pretreated metastatic breast cancer; grade 4 PN was rare (≤1%). Common symptoms included numbness, paresthesias, and sometimes dysesthesias. Cox regression analysis identified only preexisting neuropathy as a risk factor for increased ixabepilone-associated PN. The management of PN has been primarily through dose adjustments (dose delays and/or dose reduction). Patients had resolution of their neuropathy within a median time of 5 to 6 weeks. Conclusions PN is a dose-limiting toxicity associated with ixabepilone treatment, is reversible in most patients, and can be managed with dose reduction and delays.
- Breast cancer
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