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Med Oncol. 2000 May;17(2):135-43.

Phase I/II dose escalation study of docetaxel and carboplatin combination supported with amifostine and GM-CSF in patients with incomplete response following docetaxel chemo-radiotherapy: additional chemotherapy enhances regression of residual cancer.

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Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Iraklion, Crete, Greece.


Taxanes have been shown to interact with anti-apoptotic proteins. In the present study we investigated whether the addition of taxane in combination with DNA damaging drugs can further enhance tumor shrinkage in cases with incomplete response to radiotherapy. Since the dose of docetaxel in combination with carboplatin is not known, the above hypothesis was tested in the context of a dose escalation phase I study. Twenty-eight patients with locally advanced chest or pelvic tumors, showing residual disease on CT scans performed 40 d following docetaxel radio-chemotherapy, were recruited in a dose escalation protocol of docetaxel/carboplatin supported with amifostine and GM-CSF. The starting dose of docetaxel was 40 mg/m2 every 2 weeks. Carboplatin dose was calculated using the Calvert formula and was escalated in cohorts of 4 patients (starting dose AUC2 every two weeks; AUC0.5 increments up to AUC3). Thereafter the docetaxel dose was increased to 50 and 60 mg/m2, while carboplatin was escalated (by AUC0.5 increments) starting from AUC3 and AUC4 respectively. Amifostine (600 mg/m2) was administered i.v. before carboplatin and GM-CSF (480 microg) was injected s.c. on days 5, 6 and 10, 11 of each cycle. Six cycles were given and response was assessed 2 weeks after the end of chemotherapy. None out of four patients treated in the 6th dose level cohort (50 mg/m2 of docetaxel and AUC4 of carboplatin every 2 weeks) showed any grade 2-4 hematologic toxicity. Mild non-hematologic toxicity such as neuropathy, leg edema, pleural effusion, pyrexia, alopecia grade 2 and hypersensitivity was observed in 4-12% of patients. Out of four patients treated in a 7th cohort (docetaxel 60 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC4), one developed grade IV neutropenia and two developed grade 3 severe asthenia requiring treatment delay for 2 weeks. Out of 11 patients with PR following docetaxel radio-chemotherapy, 7 (63%) showed CR after docetaxel/carboplatin additional chemotherapy. Eight out of 17 patients with MR following docetaxel radio-chemotherapy showed PR (47%) and one showed CR (6%) after additional chemotherapy. High dose combined docetaxel (50 mg/m2) and carboplatin (AUC4) chemotherapy can be safely administered on a two-weekly basis if supported with amifostine and GM-CSF. Such an additional therapy may be important in patients with incomplete response after chemo-RT. Broad spectrum cytoprotection with amifostine and GM-CSF may also contribute to the reduction of incidence of neurosensory reactions and asthenia in patients treated with taxanes.

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