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J Clin Oncol. 1990 Mar;8(3):385-9.

Epirubicin in extensive small-cell lung cancer: a phase II study in previously untreated patients: a National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group Study.

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Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada.


The Clinical Trials Group of the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) studied single-agent epirubicin in 40 previously untreated patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The starting dose of epirubicin was 100 (eight patients) or 120 (32 patients) mg/m2 administered intravenously every 3 weeks. Twenty patients (50%) achieved an objective response (95% confidence limits, 33% to 66%) and three of the 20 had complete responses (CRs). The median survival of all 40 patients was 8.3 months (35.4 weeks). Myelosuppression, mild or moderate nausea and vomiting, and hair loss were commonly seen. There was one chemotherapy-related death. This drug is active and well tolerated in SCLC and the use of it as first-line therapy did not appear to compromise survival in this group of patients.

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