Empiric clinical trials have revealed new mechanisms by which hormonal therapies may exert their antitumor effects. Initial studies using escalated doses of agents like toremifene and megestrol acetate have yielded interesting results, showing responses in hormone-receptor-negative patients and in patients progressing after standard doses, respectively. A trial by Cancer and Leukemia Group B randomizing patients with advanced breast cancer to standard-dose (160 mg) megestrol acetate or to 5 or 10 times the standard dose (800 and 1,600 mg) has completed accrual. It is hoped that these results will provide a definitive answer to the dose-response issue for breast cancer. However, regardless of this trial's ultimate outcome, higher doses of megestrol acetate have demonstrated important new effects on appetite stimulation and weight gain; ongoing laboratory research promises potential roles for megestrol acetate in the reversal of chemotherapeutic drug-induced tumor resistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Breast cancer
- High-dose therapy
- Megestrol acetate