Researchers from Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center evaluted the prevalence and impact of off-label therapies in breast cancer and found that nearly 35% of women were treated with off-label chemotherapy at some point during their care.
Sharon Giordano, MD, and colleagues identified 2,082 women (ages 65 and up) diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer between 1991 and 2002 and logged into the SEER database. The DRUGDEX compendium was also referenced (ASCO abstract 1016).
They found that 34.9% of the women were treated with off-label chemotherapy, with the most common off-label chemotherapies noted being vinorelbine tartrate (Navelbine), which is approved for lung cancer, and gemcitabine (Gemzar), which is approved for pancreatic cancer.