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High-dose medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) treatment in advanced breast cancer. A review.


PMID 390798

Abstract

Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) when employed at high doses (greater than or equal to 500 greater than or equal to 1000 mg/day i.m.) can produce objective remission with improved survival in about 30% of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer resistant to cytotoxic drugs and endocrine therapies. When administered to women not previously treated with chemotherapy, the objective remission response rate reached 40%. From available evidence, high dose MPA can be considered a useful agent in the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women with soft tissue, pulmonary, pleural or osseous involvement even when patients have become refractory to prior hormone and cytotoxic therapies. Early results suggest that the response rate can be increased in patients with estrogen and/or progesterone-positive receptors. It is note worthy that in a study conducted on postmenopausal women resistant to cytotoxic and/or hormonal drugs, the median duration of survival was 13.5 months, while CRs plus PRs did not reach the median at 24 months after starting MPA treatment. High dose MPA is essentially devoid of major side effects. Relief of pain, increase in appetite and body weight, and sense of well being are characteristic features of the improved quality of life under MPA treatment. However, a gluteal abscess (from 2% to 20% dose related) is the most frequent side effect. A promising area for future studies is combined therapy using hormonal and cytotoxic agents or alternating sequential combinations. Well-designed studies are needed to develop means for increasing the complete response rate and therefore survival. Recent studies of combined chemo- and hormonal (MPA) therapy have yielded objective tumor regressions of 53 to 80% with an increased rate of complete remissions and duration of response.

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