Long-term complete response in a patient with liver metastases from breast cancer treated with metronomic chemotherapy

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Abstract

Background.

Preclinical studies have shown that several chemotherapeutic agents at low doses may affect the vascular system. Here we report the case of a patient with long-term cancer control by metronomic chemotherapy.

Case presentation.

A 62-year-old woman with breast cancer underwent a left mastectomy in July 2007. For a liver metastasis she was given first-line chemotherapy with doxorubicin plus paclitaxel every 21 days. A CT scan after the sixth cycle showed a partial response. It was decided to stop the treatment with doxorubicin and paclitaxel, and start metronomic therapy with cyclophosphamide 50 mg daily orally and methotrexate 2.5 mg twice daily, 2 days a week. After 6 months of this maintenance treatment, CT scan showed a complete response. We examined the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) in histological sections of the primary tumor of our patient, finding evidence of overexpression of the receptor. The metronomic treatment is still ongoing, and after 60 months the patient maintains a complete response.

Conclusion.

This clinical case highlights how suitable metronomic chemotherapy can be used as maintenance therapy, allowing long-term treatment with no significant toxicity. This case suggests that the level of VEGFR2 is predictive of best response to antiangiogenic therapy.

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