Sequential Two-Drug Combinations Explored in Advanced NSCLC

Sequential Two-Drug Combinations Explored in Advanced NSCLC

According to the results of a phase II clinical trial conducted in Greece, treatment of stage IIIB or stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with Navelbine® (vinorelbine) and Platinol® (cisplatin), followed by Taxotere® (docetaxel) and Gemzar® (gemcitabine), was well tolerated and reduced detectable cancer in some patients. These results were published in the journal Lung Cancer.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer; “non-small cell” refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated.

Stages IIIB or IV NSCLC refer to advanced NSCLC in which the cancer has spread from the site of origin to distant sites in the body.

The cornerstone of treatment for advanced NSCLC is chemotherapy. Due to the high mortality rates associated with this disease, researchers continue to evaluate new chemotherapy regimens and investigative agents to improve survival for these patients.

To explore the safety and efficacy of treatment with a combination of two chemotherapy drugs followed by a second combination of two chemotherapy drugs, researchers in Greece conducted a phase II clinical trial. The trial enrolled 59 patients who were newly diagnosed with stage IIIB or stage IV NSCLC. All patients received three cycles of Navelbine and Plantinol, followed by six cycles of Taxotere and Gemzar.

  • One patient (1.6%) experienced a complete disappearance of detectable cancer, and 26 patients (44%) experienced a partial reduction in detectable cancer.
  • Median time until cancer progression was five months.
  • Median survival was 12.5 months.
  • The most common severe adverse effect of treatment was neutropenia (low white blood cell levels), which occurred in 25% of patients.

The researchers concluded that the sequential administration of these two different chemotherapy combinations was well tolerated and produced an anticancer response in some patients. They suggest comparing this approach to the more standard approach of giving a single set of two chemotherapy drugs.

Reference: Pallis AG, Agelidou A, Papakotoulas P et al. A Multicenter Phase II Study of Sequential Vinorelbine and Cisplatin Followed by Docetaxel and Gemcitabine in Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Lung Cancer. 2006;52:165-171.

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