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J Thorac Oncol. 2007 Oct;2(10):927-32.

Phase II multicenter trial with carboplatin and gemcitabine induction chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy concomitantly with low-dose paclitaxel and gemcitabine for stage IIIA and IIIB non-small cell lung cancer.

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Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



The optimal combination of concomitant radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy in stage III unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains unclear. The role of induction chemotherapy with carboplatin/gemcitabine regimen has not been established in stage III NSCLC.


Forty-two stage III NSCLC patients, 41 assessable, with a median age of 60 years and good performance status, entered this trial between January 2003 and November 2004. They received carboplatin area under the curve 5 on day 1 and gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on days 1 + 8 every 3 weeks for two cycles, followed on day 50 by RT 60 Gy, concomitantly with paclitaxel 50 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 100 mg/m2 on days 1 + 8 every 3 weeks for two cycles.


After induction, the partial response (PR) was 73.1% and stable disease was 24.4%. Disease progressed in one patient. After RT and paclitaxel/gemcitabine, 22% achieved a complete response and 73% a PR, and 5% had disease progression. The median survival was 25 months, the 1-year survival rate was 73.2%, and the 2-year survival rate was 50.5%. During concomitant RT and chemotherapy, grade 3 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia occurred in eight, three, and three patients, respectively, and grade 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in one patient each. One patient developed an esophageal fistula and died shortly after, which was considered a grade 5 toxicity; one patient developed grade 4 interstitial pneumonitis, and three patients developed grade 3 esophagitis.


This regimen appears to be effective and was well tolerated. Further studies using this approach are warranted in patients with stage III NSCLC.

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