ABSTRACT: Gemcitabine/carboplatin is a convenient and effective treatment for advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but modification of the schedule to diminish thrombocytopenia is worthwhile.
One hundred fifty-eight chemotherapy-naive patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC were randomized from 15 centers in Germany to receive gemcitabine 1250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 plus carboplatin area under the curve 5 on day 1 (arm A) or carboplatin area under the curve 2.5 on days 1 and 8 (arm B), every 21 days for 4 cycles.
The 2 arms (A vs. B) were well balanced with regard to patient baseline characteristics: stage IV 72.5% versus 69%, median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 1 versus 1. The incidence of grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity was as follows (percentage of patients in arm A vs. B): leukopenia 37.5% versus 27% (P = 0.075), granulocytopenia 36% versus 36%, and thrombocytopenia 51% versus 35% (P = 0.017). Nonhematologic toxicity was modest and comparable with both schedules. The overall response rate was 46% versus 36% (P = 0.12), and 24% versus 42% had stable disease. Median progression-free survival (5.8 months vs. 6.1 months) and overall survival (11.7 months vs. 10.7 months) were not significantly different between arms A and B.
Splitting the dose of carboplatin between days 1 and 8 on the same days as gemcitabine results in a significantly decreased incidence of severe thrombocytopenia, without compromising the activity of the combination.
Clinical Lung Cancer 10/2006; 8(2):135-9. · 2.94 Impact Factor