Bisantrene (NSC 337766) (CL 216,942) in advanced breast cancer - A cancer and leukemia group B study

Arlene A. Forastiere, Michael C. Perry, Ann K. Hughes, William C. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bisantrene (NSC 337766) is an anthracenedicarboxaldehyde hydrazone demonstrating a wide spectrum of activity in animal tumor model systems with no evidence of cardiotoxicity or alopecia, in contrast to doxorubicin. Thirty-three women with advanced adenocarcinoma of the breast were treated with 260 mg/m2 IV every 3 weeks. All patients had received at least one prior combination chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease and 32/33 were refractory to doxorubicin. Of 28 patients evaluable for response one had a partial response lasting 10 weeks and three patients had stable disease for 22, 22, and 9 weeks. The most significant toxicities were nonhematologic: nausea and vomiting (41%), phlebitic reactions (38%), hypotension, one fatal anaphylactic reaction, and the development of a 7th cranial nerve palsy during drug infusion. Hematologic toxicity, leukopenia, was dose-limiting but manageable without associated infections or bleeding. These results indicate that bisantrene in this dose and schedule is not a useful drug in heavily pretreated breast cancer patients. The incidence and severity of phlebitic reactions limited venous access and adversely affected patient compliance. Preliminary results of other phase II breast cancer trials indicate a similar spectrum of toxicity but suggest more significant antitumor activity even in patients previously treated with doxorubicin. Trials conducted in patients with minimal prior treatment and with bisantrene administered via central line appear warranted for definitive assessment of the activity of this agent in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-229
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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