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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jan 15;11(2 Pt 1):690-6.

Pemetrexed combined with oxaliplatin or carboplatin as first-line treatment in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a multicenter, randomized, phase II trial.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, Thoracic Oncology Unit, S. Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, University of Torino, Regione Gonzole 10-00043 Orbassano, Turin, Italy.



To determine efficacy and toxicity of two pemetrexed-based regimens in chemonaive patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.


Patients were randomly assigned to receive pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) plus oxaliplatin 120 mg/m(2) (PemOx) or pemetrexed plus carboplatin AUC6 (PemCb). All drugs were given on day 1 of a 21-day cycle for up to six cycles. Folic acid and vitamin B(12) were given to all patients to minimize pemetrexed-related toxicities.


Forty-one patients received PemOx and 39 received PemCb. Objective tumor response rates were 26.8% for PemOx patients (95% confidence interval, 14.2-42.9) and 31.6% for PemCb patients (95% confidence interval, 17.5-48.7). Median time to progression was 5.5 and 5.7 months, respectively, for PemOx and PemCb. Median overall survival times were 10.5 months for both treatment groups (range, <1 to >20 months). The 1-year survival rate was 49.9% for PemOx patients and 43.9% for PemCb patients. Common toxicity criteria grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicities among PemOx patients were grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (7.3%), grade 3 thrombocytopenia (2.4%), and grade 3 anemia (2.4%). PemCb patients experienced grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (25.6%), grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia (17.9%), and grade 3 anemia (7.7%). Grade 3 vomiting occurred in three PemOx patients and grade 3 fatigue occurred in three PemCb patients. One grade 3 neurosensory toxicity occurred in the PemOx group. Three patients (PemOx 1 and PemCb 2) experienced febrile neutropenia.


Efficacy measures for both regimens seem similar to the most effective chemotherapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (platinum combinations) with less hematologic and nonhematologic toxicity. Comparing either of these two regimens to platinum-based therapies in a large randomized trial is warranted.

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