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Eur J Cancer. 1995 Dec;31A(13-14):2196-202.

A phase I/II evaluation of metoclopramide as a radiosensitiser in patients with inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, University of Lund, Sweden.


The feasibility of administering metoclopramide (MCA) as a radiosensitizer has been evaluated in 23 patients with a pathological or cytological diagnosis of a squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, clinically evaluated as inoperable. All patients received 40-60 Gy radiotherapy fractionated into 1.8 Gy fractions 5 times per week (Monday-Friday). Two MCA treatment regimens were used: (i) MCA at 2 mg/kg administered by intravenous-infusion 1-2 h prior to radiotherapy 3 times per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday); and (ii) MCA at 1 mg/kg administered by intravenous infusion 1-2 h prior to radiotherapy 5 times per week (Monday-Friday). 11 of the 23 patients treated with radiotherapy and MCA had none to mild pneumonitis or fibrosis and another 8 of the 23 had moderate levels. No patient had their therapy interrupted due to radiation-related side-effects. The MCA-related side-effects were as expected, i.e. 78% of the patients experienced sedation/tiredness and 48% expressed restlessness/anxiety symptoms. Both the total dose and serum levels of MCA were significantly associated to the MCA side-effect profile. Tumour response, duration of tumour response and survival were significantly positively correlated to the total and weekly doses of MCA administered to the patients during their radiotherapy treatment. These favourable phase II data have justified the initiation of a phase II/III randomised multicentred trial being carried out in Europe to evaluate MCA as a radiosensitiser.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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