ABSTRACT: The combination of paclitaxel with carboplatin is effective in advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This phase III study was designed to compare the efficacy and tolerability of a weekly versus an every-3-week schedule in the first-line treatment of advanced-stage NSCLC.
Chemotherapy-naive patients were randomized to receive paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 and carboplatin at an area under the curve of 2 once weekly for 6-8 weeks (arm A) or paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 and carboplatin at an area under the curve of 6 on day 1 every 21 days (arm B).
A total of 883 patients received >or= 1 chemotherapy cycle and were included in the results. The objective response rates observed (complete response plus partial response) were 38% for arm A and 33% for arm B. Median times to progression and median survival times were 6.1 months and 8.9 months in arm A and 7.2 months and 9.5 months in arm B, respectively. There were no significant differences between treatment arms. The chemotherapy was well tolerated in both schedules. However, grade 3/4 sensory neuropathy occurred more frequently with the every-3-week schedule (9.1% vs. 4.4%), whereas grade 3/4 diarrhea occurred more frequently with the weekly schedule (4.2% vs. 1.1%).
In terms of response and survival, paclitaxel/carboplatin administered once weekly is comparable with the every-3-week schedule. Toxicity differences should be considered when choosing the appropriate schedule for the individual.
Clinical Lung Cancer 04/2006; 7(5):338-43. · 2.94 Impact Factor