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Semin Radiat Oncol. 2002 Jan;12(1 Suppl 1):46-9.

Randomized phase III study of chemoradiation with or without amifostine for patients with favorable performance status inoperable stage II-III non-small cell lung cancer: preliminary results.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


A prospective randomized study was conducted to determine whether amifostine (Ethyol) reduces the rate of severe esophagitis and hematologic and pulmonary toxicity associated with chemoradiation or improves control of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Sixty patients with inoperable stage II or III NSCLC were treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Both groups received thoracic radiation therapy (TRT) with 1.2 Gy/fraction, 2 fraction per day, 5 days per week for a total dose 69.6 Gy. All patients received oral etoposide (VP-16), 50 mg Bid, 30 minutes before TRT beginning day 1 for 10 days, repeated on day 29, and cisplatin 50 mg/m(2) intravenously on days 1, 8, 29, and 36. Patients in the study group received amifostine, 500 mg intravenously, twice weekly before chemoradiation (arm 1); patients in the control group received chemoradiation without amifostine (arm 2). Patient and tumor characteristics were distributed equally in both groups. Of the 60 patients enrolled, 53 were evaluable (27 in arm 1, 26 in arm 2) with a median follow-up of 6 months. Median survival times were 26 months for arm 1 and 15 months for arm 2, not statistically significantly different. Morphine intake to reduce severe esophagitis was significantly lower in arm 1 (2 of 27, 7.4%) than arm 2 (8 of 26, 31%; P =.03). Acute pneumonitis was significantly lower in arm 1 (1 of 27, 3.7%) than in arm 2 (6 of 26, 23%; P =.037). Hypotension (20 mm Hg decrease from baseline blood pressure) was significantly more frequent in arm 1 (19 of 27, 70%) than arm 2 (1 of 26, 3.8%; P =.0001). Only 1 patient discontinued treatment because of hypotension. These preliminary results showed that amifostine significantly reduced acute severe esophagitis and pneumonitis. Further observation is required to assess long-term efficacy.

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