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Semin Radiat Oncol. 1999 Apr;9(2 Suppl 1):136-47.

Phase I/IIa study of concurrent paclitaxel and cisplatin with radiation therapy in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer: analysis of early and late pulmonary morbidity.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology,Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, Alabama 35233, USA.


Recent efforts to improve survival outcome in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer have focused on the use of chemoradiotherapy regimens containing vinblastine/cisplatin or etoposide/cisplatin. However, the overall treatment outcome with these regimens remains poor, emphasizing the need for new therapeutic options. Based on the activity of paclitaxel in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, its additive cytotoxicity with cisplatin, and the radiation-sensitizing effect of both agents, a phase I/IIa study was designed to examine the feasibility of paclitaxel/cisplatin concurrently with conventional thoracic irradiation in patients with locally advanced tumors. One major concern regarding combined modality therapy has been the enhancement of pulmonary toxicity. This report describes the incidence and severity of pulmonary toxicities observed in this trial according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group scoring criteria. A literature-based review was performed in an attempt to determine the impact of paclitaxel-based versus non-paclitaxel-based chemoradiotherapy regimens on the early and late pulmonary morbidity. Twenty-four evaluable patients died and 14 (37%) are still alive without evidence of disease. The 1- and 2-year survival rates are 62% and 40%, respectively, with a median survival of 17 months. Pulmonary toxicity >/=grade 2 was more frequently manifested as late toxicity in approximately 70% of the patients. In most, prompt symptomatic and radiologic improvement was observed with the early administration of corticosteroids. There were three late grade 5 toxicities characterized by diffuse (bilateral) rapidly progressive interstitial infiltrates. Protracted lymphocytopenia was noted in the great majority of patients, and its role in the pathogenesis of this complication remains to be determined. There were minor changes in pulmonary function parameters, except in the forced vital capacity and diffusion capacity to carbon monoxide. In a univariate analysis, no relationship was noted between paclitaxel dose level, degree of lymphocytopenia, changes in pulmonary function indices, and incidence of pulmonary toxicity. However, there was a significant dose-volume relationship (using conventional dose-volume histograms) with late pulmonary toxicity at radiation doses between 15 Gy and 30 Gy. Based on a literature review, paclitaxel-based chemotherapy regimens seem to be associated with a slightly higher risk of pulmonary toxicity; however, comparison of such toxicity between trials has many limitations that require that the conclusion reached be viewed with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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