ALIMTA (pemetrexed disodium) as second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer: a phase II study.
Pawel, J. van
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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate ALIMTA (pemetrexed disodium, LY231514), a multi-targeted antifolate with first-line activity against non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in a second-line setting. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with NSCLC were eligible for this phase II study if they had progressive disease within 3 months after first-line chemotherapy or progression while being treated with first-line chemotherapy. In 81 patients studied, two cohorts of patients were assigned based on whether the first-line therapy had included a platinum regimen. ALIMTA was administered at 500 mg/m2 by 10-min intravenous infusion once every 21 days. RESULTS: The response rate in the 79 evaluable patients with poor prognostic features was 8.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6% to 15.1%]. The response rate in the platinum-pretreated group was 4.5% and 14.1% in the non-platinum-pretreated group. The median duration of response was 6.8 months (95% CI 3.4-7.8 months, 0% censoring). The median survival time was 5.7 months (95% CI 4.0-8.3 months, 7.6% censoring). The probability of survival for at least 6 months was estimated to be 48%. The median time to disease progression was 2 months (95% CI 1.4-2.8 months, 0% censoring). The principal toxicity was myelosuppression, which was reversible. CONCLUSIONS: ALIMTA is active in a second-line setting in non-platinum-pretreated NSCLC patients progressing within 3 months of first-line chemotherapy. This study demonstrates that it is possible to evaluate new drugs against NSCLC in a second-line setting.