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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jul 1;11(13 Pt 2):5017s-5021s.

Adjuvant chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer: contribution of the International Adjuvant Lung Trial.

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Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Institut Gustave-Roussy, 39 rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif, France.


The recently reported International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Trial (IALT) was designed to assess the potential benefit of three to four cycles of adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy after complete resection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Each center predetermined the cisplatin dose (total 300-400 mg/m(2)), the combined drug (etoposide or a Vinca alkaloid), and the radiotherapy policy. From 1995 to 2000, 1,867 patients were randomized in 148 centers from 33 countries. On September 1, 2002, median follow-up was 56 months and >98% of patients had an updated follow-up. Overall survival was significantly different between the two arms: 5-year survival rate was 44.5% in the chemotherapy arm versus 40.4% in the control arm [relative risk = 0.86 (0.76-0.98), P < 0.03]. Disease-free survival, incidence of local recurrence, and incidence of distant metastases (but not brain metastases) were likewise significantly different, with an advantage for the chemotherapy arm. We concluded that adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy in resected NSCLC should become part of the standard management of operable NSCLC. Two other recently reported randomized prospective studies also showed a significant benefit for postoperative platin-based doublets in stage IB and II NSCLC and confirmed the role of adjuvant chemotherapy as part of the treatment of these patients. The Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation program, a pooled analysis of all recent platin-based adjuvant trials, and the IALT-Bio study, which will investigate over 30 markers in the IALT patients' specimens, should allow us to better define the populations more likely to benefit from postoperative chemotherapy.

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