Clinical development of ixabepilone and other epothilones in patients with advanced solid tumors

Edgardo Rivera, Joyce S Lee, Angela Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy efficacy in patients with solid tumors is influenced by primary and acquired multidrug resistance (MDR). Epothilones represent a novel class of microtubule inhibitors with lower susceptibility to drug resistance and efficacy in taxane-resistant tumors. While other epothilones are currently under investigation, ixabepilone is the first epothilone B analogue approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ixabepilone has been shown to have preclinical activity in chemotherapy-sensitive and chemotherapy-resistant tumor models, and synergistic antitumor activity with other chemotherapeutic and targeted agents. Single-agent ixabepilone has demonstrated clinical activity in multiple solid tumors including advanced breast, lung, prostate, pancreatic, renal cell, and ovarian cancers. Most notably, efficacy has been demonstrated in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) progressing after treatment with anthracyclines and taxanes. A phase III trial in anthracycline-and taxane-resistant MBC showed superior disease control with ixabepilone plus capecitabine versus capecitabine monotherapy, resulting in its approval. Ixabepilone is also active in chemotherapy-naïve and taxane-resistant hormone-refractory prostate cancer and platinum-resistant non-small cell lung cancer. Neutropenia and peripheral sensory neuropathy are the most common adverse events associated with treatment. This review discusses the challenges of MDR and the data that support the use of epothilones in this setting, focusing on ixabepilone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1223
Number of pages17
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Epothilones
  • Ixabepilone
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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