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Ann Oncol. 2004 Dec;15(12):1782-9.

Addition of platinum compounds to a new agent in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a literature based meta-analysis of randomised trials.

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Department of Medicine II, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1, Shikata-cho, Okayama, 700-8558, Japan.



Single new agents reportedly produce promising response and survival effects, but platinum-based doublets remain the standard chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of platinum for advanced NSCLC by carrying out a meta-analysis of trials that compared platinum-based doublets with single new agent therapy alone.


We carried out a literature search to identify trials, conducted between 1994 and 2003, comparing a doublet of platinum plus a new agent with a new agent alone in previously untreated patients with advanced NSCLC. Outcomes analysed were response, survival and toxicity.


Eight trials encompassing 2374 patients were identified. Platinum-based doublets produced an approximately two-fold higher overall (complete and partial) response rate than the new agent alone [odds ratio = 2.32; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.68-3.20]. Platinum-based doublet therapy was also associated with a 13% prolongation of survival (hazard ratio = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.80-0.94, P <0.001). Despite significant increases in the frequencies of various toxic effects in patients receiving platinum-based doublets, no significant difference in treatment-related mortality was observed.


This is the first published meta-analysis demonstrating the importance of combining platinum with single new agents in the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

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