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Cancer. 2005 Feb 15;103(4):772-9.

A multicenter, randomized, Phase II study of cisplatin, etoposide, and gemcitabine or cisplatin plus gemcitabine as first-line treatment in patients with poor-prognosis small cell lung carcinoma.

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  • 1Fifth Operative Unit of Pulmonary Oncology, Carlo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the activity and toxicity of combined cisplatin, etoposide, and gemcitabine (PEG) and combined cisplatin plus gemcitabine (PG) in previously untreated patients with extensive-stage and poor-prognosis limited-stage small-cell lung carcinoma.


One hundred forty patients (70 patients in two arms) were randomized to receive either cisplatin 70 mg/m2 on Day 1, etoposide 50 mg/m2 on Days 1-3, and gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on Days 1 and 8 or cisplatin 70 mg/m2 on Day 1 plus gemcitabine 1250 mg/m2 on Days 1 and 8. Both regimens were recycled every 21 days.


In total, 626 cycles were delivered (303 cycles of PEG and 323 cycles of PG), with a median of 4 cycles per patient in both arms. The objective response rate was 63% (95% confidence interval [95%CI], 49-71%) for PEG and 57% (95%CI, 43-67%) for PG, with the suggestion of a higher complete response rate in the PEG arm (18.6% and 4.3%, respectively). A similar time to disease progression (6 months in the PEG arm and 7 months in the PG arm) and a similar median survival (9.5 months in the PEG arm and 10 months in the PG arm) were observed in both arms. The PEG regimen was associated with more severe hematologic toxicity in terms of neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and a higher rate of treatment delays and dose reductions, whereas nonhematologic toxicities did not differ between the two arms.


According to the results of this Phase II randomized trial, the PEG regimen produced a higher complete response rate but more toxicity compared with the PG regimen in patients with extensive-stage or poor-prognosis, limited-stage small cell lung carcinoma.

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