Carboplatin and paclitaxol (Taxol) as an induction regimen for patients with biopsy-proven stage IIIA N2 non-small cell lung cancer. an EORTC phase II study (EORTC 08958).
Bochove, A Van
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The aim of this study was to document the activity and toxicity of paclitaxel (Taxol)/carboplatin when used as induction chemotherapy in patients with stage IIIA N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) prior to definitive local treatment within a large, ongoing comparative study (EORTC 08941). 52 eligible, consenting, chemotherapy-naive patients with NSCLC, median age of 60 years, stage IIIA N2 disease and the ability to tolerate a pneumonectomy received paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 as a 3-h infusion followed by carboplatin at an area under the concentration curve (AUC) of 6 every 3 weeks for three courses. Most patients received three courses. No grade 3/4 anaemia or thrombocytopenia was documented. Over all of the cycles, 6% (3 patients) experienced grade 3 leucopenia while 63% (32/51 patients) experienced grade 3-4 neutropenia. There was 1 patient (2%) with febrile neutropenia, no early or toxic deaths and no hypersensitivity reactions. Severe non-haematological toxicity was uncommon, with the exception of grade 3 alopecia in 39%, lethargy in 8% and myalgia in 6%. Of the eligible patients (n=52), there was one complete response (CR) and 32 partial responses (PR), resulting in a response rate of 64% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 49%-76%). Of the 15 eligible patients randomised to surgery after induction chemotherapy, 3 patients did not receive surgery and 2 patients (n=12) had no tumour in the mediastinal nodes (17%). Resections were considered complete in 2 of the 12. Median survival for all eligible patients (n=52) was 20.5 months (95% CI 16.1-31.2), with an estimated 1-year survival rate of 68.5% (95% CI 55.2-81.7). In patients with N2 stage IIIA NSCLC, paclitaxel/carboplatin is an active and very well-tolerated induction regimen.