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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Dec;5(12):1963-9. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181fd42eb.

Randomized, phase II trial of pemetrexed and carboplatin with or without enzastaurin versus docetaxel and carboplatin as first-line treatment of patients with stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7305, USA.



Enzastaurin is an oral serine/threonine kinase inhibitor that targets protein kinase C-beta (PKC-β) and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/AKT pathway. This trial assessed pemetrexed-carboplatin ± enzastaurin to docetaxel-carboplatin in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.


Patients with stage IIIB (with pleural effusion) or IV non-small cell lung cancer and performance status 0 or 1 were randomized to one of the three arms: (A) pemetrexed 500 mg/m and carboplatin area under the curve 6 once every 3 weeks for up to 6 cycles with a loading dose of enzastaurin 1125 or 1200 mg followed by 500 mg daily until disease progression, (B) the same regimen of pemetrexed-carboplatin without enzastaurin, or (C) docetaxel 75 mg/m and carboplatin area under the curve 6 once every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. The primary end point was time to disease progression (TTP).


Between March 2006 and May 2008, 218 patients were randomized. Median TTP was 4.6 months for pemetrexed-carboplatin-enzastaurin, 6.0 months for pemetrexed-carboplatin, and 4.1 months for docetaxel-carboplatin (differences not significant). Median survival was 7.2 months for pemetrexed-carboplatin-enzastaurin, 12.7 months for pemetrexed-carboplatin, and 9.2 months for docetaxel-carboplatin (log-rank p = 0.05). Compared with the other arms, docetaxel-carboplatin was associated with lower rates of grade 3 thrombocytopenia and anemia but a higher rate of grade 3 or 4 febrile neutropenia.


There was no difference in TTP between the three arms, but survival was longer with pemetrexed-carboplatin compared with docetaxel-carboplatin. Enzastaurin did not add to the activity of pemetrexed-carboplatin.

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