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J Thorac Oncol. 2009 Mar;4(3):371-5. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31819846e4.

Phase II study of docetaxel and carboplatin in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.



Mainly single-agent chemotherapy has been considered as standard treatment for elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Docetaxel monotherapy is regarded as a standard treatment for elderly patients with advanced NSCLC, and recent subset analyses have suggested that platinum-based chemotherapy can be safely used in the elderly. This phase II study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of docetaxel and carboplatin in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC.


Patients enrolled in this study had stage IIIB or IV NSCLC with measurable disease, no prior chemotherapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, and were 70 years or older. Treatment consisted of docetaxel at a dose of 60 mg/m(2) and carboplatin at area under the curve of 5 mg/ml/min on day 1 every 3 weeks.


From October 2003 to April 2006, 30 patients were enrolled. One complete response and 13 partial responses were observed, for an overall response rate of 46.7% (95% confidence interval: 28.8-64.6%). Median progression-free survival and overall survival periods were 4.4 months and 9.9 months, respectively. One-year survival rate was 43.3%. Major grade 3 and 4 hematological toxicities included neutropenia (86.7%), leucopenia (80.0%) and febrile neutropenia (16.7%). Major grade 3 nonhematological toxicities were anorexia (30.0%) and diarrhea (13.3%). There were no grade 4 nonhematological toxicities or treatment-related deaths.


Docetaxel combined with carboplatin was an active treatment with manageable toxicity for the treatment of elderly patients with chemotherapy-naive NSCLC.

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