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Saturday 02 September 2006

Topotecan Therapy in Patients with Relapsed Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Poor Performance Status.

By: Lilenbaum RC, Huber RM, Treat J, Masters G, Kaubitzsch S, Lane S, Wissel P

Purpose: Topotecan is generally well tolerated and active in patients with relapsed small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and poor performance status (PS).

In this study, we investigated whether treatment with topotecan is associated with improvement in PS as measured by the rate of conversion from PS 2 to PS 0/1.

Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of data from 7 clinical trials (N = 795) investigating topotecan in patients with relapsed SCLC was performed. All patients received topotecan 1.25-1.5 mg/m2 daily on days 1-5 of a 21-day cycle. Demographics were similar for patients with PS 2 and PS 0/1. A total of 152 patients with PS 2 at baseline received 502 cycles (median, 2 cycles; range, 1-14 cycles) of therapy, and 32 (21%) experienced PS improvement to PS 0/1 that lasted for >/= 2 cycles.

Results: Overall, 50% of patients who experienced PS conversion also exhibited an objective antitumor response, compared with 8% of patients with PS 2 who had no improvement in PS and achieved a response. Similarly, median overall survival was longer for patients with PS improvement (37 weeks; 95% confidence interval, 29.6-49.4 weeks) compared with patients with PS 2 who had a response but no PS improvement (10.4 weeks; 95% confidence interval, 8.7-13.6 weeks). A substantial proportion of patients with PS 2 and relapsed SCLC experienced PS improvement during topotecan treatment. These patients had a substantially longer median survival and a higher response rate compared with the overall trial population.

Conclusion: Improvement in PS appears to be a good indicator of benefit from topotecan therapy.

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