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J Clin Oncol. 2000 Jan;18(1):131-5.

Activity of docetaxel in platinum-treated non-small-cell lung cancer: results of a phase II multicenter trial.

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University of California, Davis, Sacramento, USA.



Although several new chemotherapeutic agents are promising as primary therapy in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), few have demonstrated activity in platinum-refractory disease. Based on encouraging results reported in two single-institution studies of docetaxel in this setting, we performed a multicenter phase II trial evaluating this novel taxane in previously treated NSCLC patients prospectively categorized by platinum response status.


Eighty patients with NSCLC previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy received docetaxel at a dose of 100 mg/m(2) intravenously over 1 hour, repeated every 21 days, accompanied by dexamethasone 8 mg orally twice daily for 5 days. Forty-seven patients (59%) were defined as platinum-refractory based on response status to prior therapy.


The median number of cycles delivered per patient was four (range, one to 21 cycles). Partial response was observed in 13 (16%) of 80 of patients, with similar response rates in platinum-sensitive and platinum-refractory patients. The median survival time was 7 months, and the 1-year survival rate was 25%. Docetaxel was relatively well tolerated in this previously treated population. Grade IV neutropenia was common in patients (77%) but typically of brief duration. Febrile neutropenia was observed in 11 patients (14%), with no fatal infections. Severe fluid retention was rare (4% of patients).


This multicenter phase II trial confirms antitumor activity and encouraging survival with docetaxel therapy in platinum-treated and platinum-refractory NSCLC. To validate these results, a phase III trial randomizing platinum-treated patients to docetaxel or best supportive care is underway.

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