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Acta Oncol. 1999;38(8):1005-9.

Induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy in stage III unresectable non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.


The favourable experience with the combination regimen of vinorelbine, ifosfamide and cisplatin (NIP) in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has led to a protocol assessing this regimen as an induction treatment in patients with stage III unresectable NSCLC, followed by thoracic radiotherapy with concurrent daily cisplatin as a radiosensitizer. Two cycles of NIP were administered 21 days apart; each cycle comprised i.v. vinorelbine 25 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8, i.v. ifosfamide 3 g/m2 on day 1 with MESNA as uroprotection, and i.v. cisplatin 50 mg/m2 on day 1. Radical thoracic radiotherapy commenced on day 43 to a total dose of 64 Gy and i.v. cisplatin 6 mg/m2 was given concurrently prior to each fraction of radiation as a sensitiser. Two more cycles of NIP were given to patients who responded favourably to the induction treatment about 2 weeks after completion of radiation. Between July 1995 and July 1997, 44 patients were treated with this protocol. This treatment schedule was generally well tolerated. Grade 3-4 neutropenia occurred in 50% of the patients and neutropenic sepsis was seen in 8. Grade 3-4 oesophagitis was uncommon. Most of the patients were able to complete the induction and concurrent chemoradiotherapy phase. Major response occurred in 75% of the patients with 2 (4.5%) complete responses (CR). A total of 6 patients achieved CR after chemoradiotherapy. At a median follow-up of 35 months, the median overall survival for all patients was 15 months with a 3-year survival rate of 24%. The median overall survival for stage IIIA patients was 19 months with a 3-year survival rate of 39% in contrast to 13 months' median overall survival and only 15% 3-year survival rate for stage IIIB. The NIP regimen results in a high response rate in NSCLC and this treatment programme seems to benefit selected patients with stage III disease.

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