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Semin Oncol. 2001 Apr;28(2 Suppl 4):43-7.

Paclitaxel-based three-drug combinations for the treatment of small cell lung cancer: a review of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center experience.

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Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.


Between June 1993 and September 1999, 217 patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) entered three sequential phase II trials evaluating novel paclitaxel-containing three-drug combination chemotherapy regimens. Patients with limited- or extensive-stage SCLC, no previous treatment, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2 were eligible. Trials 1 and 2 evaluated the combination of paclitaxel, carboplatin, and etoposide; in the second trial, doses of paclitaxel and carboplatin were higher than in the first trial. Trial 3 evaluated the combination of paclitaxel, carboplatin, and topotecan. Patients with limited-stage disease received radiation therapy to the primary tumor site and mediastinum, beginning concurrently with the third course of chemotherapy. All patients received four courses of chemotherapy, administered at 21-day intervals. All three regimens were highly active and produced high response rates in both limited- and extensive-stage SCLC. Median survivals for regimens 1, 2, and 3 in extensive-stage patients were 8, 10, and 8.5 months, respectively. Median survivals in limited- stage disease were 16, 20, and 15 months, respectively. Although definitive comparisons of these regimens cannot be made on the basis of sequential trials, the higher-dose paclitaxel/carboplatin/etoposide regimen seemed superior; with this regimen, 4-year survival in limited-stage disease was 23%. Paclitaxel-containing three-drug regimens, as evaluated in these three phase II trials, were feasible and highly active in the first-line treatment of SCLC. Randomized trials will be necessary to definitively evaluate the efficacy of these regimens as compared with traditional platinum/etoposide combinations. Semin Oncol 28 (suppl 4):43-47.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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