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Friday 01 February 2002

Novel doublets in extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer: a randomized phase II study of topotecan plus cisplatin or paclitaxel (CALGB 9430).

By: Lyss AP, Herndon JE 2nd, Lynch TJ Jr, Turrisi AT, Watson DM, Grethlein SJ, Green MR.

Clin Lung Cancer 2002 Feb;3(3):205-10; discussion 211-2

Chemotherapy for extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (E-SCLC) produces high response rates and improved survival but few cures. We tested three new regimens for E-SCLC that might merit further investigation in a subsequent phase III trial. Cancer and Leukemia Group B 9430 was a randomized phase II study evaluating 4 treatment arms in 57 evaluable, previously untreated E-SCLC patients. Each arm consisted of the following: Arm 1: cisplatin plus topotecan; Arm 2: cisplatin plus paclitaxel; Arm 3: paclitaxel 230 mg/m2 plus topotecan; and Arm 4: paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 plus topotecan. Because of an accrual time difference, Arm 2 will not be discussed in this manuscript. Arm 1 (12 patients) produced 1 complete response (CR, 8%) and an overall response rate (ORR) of 42%. Toxicity was excessive, with 3 deaths (25%). Arm 3 (13 patients) produced no CRs, 7 partial responses (PRs, 54%), median survival of 13.8 months, and failure-free survival (FFS) of 7.41 months, with 3 toxic deaths (25%). Among 32 evaluable patients on Arm 4, there were 2 CRs (6%) and 20 PRs (63%) for an ORR of 69%, median survival of 9.9 months, FFS of 5.21 months, and 1-year survival of 40%. There was 1 possible treatment-related death (3%). Topotecan plus cisplatin, in the doses and schedule employed, produced excessive toxicity and modest efficacy in E-SCLC patients. Paclitaxel (230 mg/m2 on day 1) plus topotecan (1 mg/m2 on days 1-5) produced excessive toxicity that was ameliorated with an attenuated paclitaxel dose (175 mg/m2). With the latter regimen (Arm 4) in patients with a performance status of 0/1, CR rates, FFS, overall survival, and 1-year survival were similar to standard etoposide plus cisplatin chemotherapy. Further exploration of topoisomerase inhibitors and taxanes in SCLC patients is warranted.

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