Gemcitabine and cisplatin as induction chemotherapy for patients with unresectable Stage IIIA-bulky N2 and Stage IIIB nonsmall cell lung carcinoma: an Italian Lung Cancer Project Observational Study.

Division of Medical Oncology, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy.
Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.9). 08/2003; 98(1):128-34. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.11460
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this trial was to evaluate the activity and safety of one of the newer platinum-based doublets as a neoadjuvant regimen in patients with unresectable Stage IIIA-bulky N2 and Stage IIIB nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
From June 1996 to April 2000, 129 consecutive patients with locally advanced NSCLC were treated with gemcitabine, 1000 mg/m(2) on Days 1 and 8 and cisplatin, 70 mg/m(2) on Day 2 (GC) of a 21-day treatment cycle, for 4 cycles, as part of a combined-modality approach.
After induction chemotherapy, 80 patients (62%; 95% confidence interval, 53.6-70.4%) achieved a partial response, 43 patients (33%) had stable disease, and 6 patients (5%) had disease progression during chemotherapy. Forty patients (31%), were considered resectable and underwent thoracotomy. Complete resectability was obtained in 38 patients (29%), with 2% of patients achieving a pathologic complete response. After surgery, 9 patients with Mountain Classification Stage IIIA NSCLC and 9 patients with Stage IIIB NSCLC received definitive adjuvant radiotherapy. Forty-six of 52 patients with Stage IIIB disease and 24 of 37 patients with Stage IIIA disease who were not considered suitable for surgery received definitive radiotherapy. The median time to disease progression was 11.4 months, the median survival was 19.4 months (range, 1.2-55.2 + months), and the 1-year survival rate was 74%. The lungs (33%) and the brain (21%) were the main sites of recurrence. Major toxicity was comprised of Grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia, which occurred in 34 patients (27%).
GC administered according to a 3-week schedule was a highly active and safe regimen in patients with primary, unresectable, locally advanced NSCLC.


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