Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastics, Antimicrotubular are used in the treatment of Breast Cancer?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Antineoplastics, Antimicrotubular

Use of antimicrotubular therapy may be considered in patients who have received at least 2 chemotherapeutic regimens for metastatic disease.

Eribulin (Halaven)

Eribulin inhibits the growth phase of microtubules, leading to G2/M cell-cycle block, disruption of mitotic spindles, and, ultimately, apoptotic cell death. It is indicated for metastatic breast cancer in patients who have previously received at least 2 chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of metastatic disease. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline and a taxane in either the adjuvant or the metastatic setting.

Docetaxel (Taxotere, Docefrez)

Docetaxel is indicated for use in combination with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide for adjuvant treatment of operable node-positive breast cancer. It is also indicated for locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior chemotherapy. It is a semisynthetic taxane, a class of drugs that inhibits cancer cell growth by promoting assembly and blocking the disassembly of microtubules, thereby preventing cancer cell division and leading to cell death.

Paclitaxel (Taxol)

Paclitaxel is indicated for adjuvant treatment of node-positive breast cancer; it is administered sequentially after doxorubicin-containing combination chemotherapy. Dose-dense regimens (ie, more frequent administration) are currently being studied and resulting disease-free interval examined. Mechanisms of action are tubulin polymerization and microtubule stabilization, which, in turn, inhibit mitosis and may result in the breakage of chromosomes.

Ixabepilone (Ixempra)

Ixabepilone is a semisynthetic analogue of epothilone B that inhibits microtubules, halting cell division in the mitotic phase and resulting in cell death. It is used mostly in combination with capecitabine in patients with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer in whom therapy with other first-line agents (eg, an anthracycline and a taxane) has failed.

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