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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Aug 1;23(22):4991-8. Epub 2005 Jun 6.

Study of paclitaxel, etoposide, and cisplatin chemotherapy combined with twice-daily thoracic radiotherapy for patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer: a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9609 phase II study.

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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD 21231-1000, USA.



To determine the response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival, and toxicity of paclitaxel, etoposide, and cisplatin combined with accelerated hyperfractionated thoracic radiotherapy in patients with limited-disease (LD) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).


LD-SCLC patients with measurable disease, Karnofsky performance score of > or = 70, and adequate organ function who were previously untreated were eligible for the study. Treatment was as follows. In cycle 1 of chemotherapy, concurrent thoracic radiation therapy was administered. In cycles 2 to 4, chemotherapy was administered alone. In cycle 1, chemotherapy consisted of paclitaxel 135 mg/m(2) intravenous over 3 hours on day 1, etoposide 60 mg/m(2) intravenous on day 1 and 80 mg/m(2) orally on days 2 and 3, and cisplatin 60 mg/m(2) intravenous on day 1. In cycles 2 to 4, the paclitaxel dose was increased to 175 mg/m(2), with the etoposide and cisplatin doses remaining the same as in cycle 1. The thoracic radiation therapy consisted of 1.5 Gy in 30 fractions (total dose, 45 Gy) administered 5 days a week for 3 weeks.


Fifty-five patients were enrolled onto the study, and 53 were assessable. The major toxicities included grade 3 and 4 acute neutropenia (32% and 43%, respectively) and grade 3 and 4 esophagitis (32% and 4%, respectively). Two patients died as a result of therapy (one died of acute respiratory distress syndrome, and one died of sepsis). There was one late fatal pulmonary toxicity. The median survival time was 24.7 months. The 2-year survival rate was 54.7%. The median progression-free survival time was 13 months, with a 2-year progression-free survival rate of 26.4%.


Although this therapeutic regimen is effective in the treatment of patients with LD-SCLC, it is unlikely that the three-drug combination with thoracic radiation therapy will improve the survival times compared with the etoposide plus cisplatin chemotherapy regimen with thoracic radiation therapy in LD-SCLC patients.

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