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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov 1;28(31):4747-54. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.27.9356. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Phase II selection design trial of concurrent chemotherapy and cetuximab versus chemotherapy followed by cetuximab in advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer: Southwest Oncology Group study S0342.

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Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Section of Thoracic Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA.



Randomized clinical trials failed to show a survival benefit for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors plus concurrent chemotherapy in patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with preclinical data suggesting potential negative interactions. In contrast, pilot trials of the EGFR-targeted antibody, cetuximab, plus chemotherapy suggested enhanced antitumor activity. This randomized phase II trial was designed to select a cetuximab plus chemotherapy regimen for phase III evaluation.


Treatment-naive patients with advanced-stage NSCLC were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel (225 mg/m(2)) and carboplatin (area under the curve, 6) every 3 weeks plus concurrent cetuximab (400 mg/m(2) loading dose followed by 250 mg/m(2) weekly) for four cycles followed by maintenance cetuximab or sequential paclitaxel-carboplatin for four cycles followed by cetuximab.


Of 242 patients enrolled, 224 were eligible and assessable for response (106 and 118 patients in the concurrent and sequential arms, respectively). With a median follow-up time of 32 months, the median overall survival was 10.9 months (95% CI, 9.2 to 13.0 months) for patients receiving concurrent therapy and 10.7 months (95% CI, 8.5 to 12.8 months) for patients receiving sequential therapy (P = .57); 1-year survival rates were 45% (95% CI, 36% to 54%) and 44% (95% CI, 35% to 53%), respectively. Response rates and progression-free survival times were similar in both arms, as was grade 3 rash, whereas sensory neuropathy was higher in the concurrent arm (15% v 5% in the sequential arm; P = .036).


Although both regimens met the efficacy criterion for continued evaluation, the concurrent regimen of paclitaxel/carboplatin plus cetuximab was chosen.

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