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Lung Cancer. 2012 Feb;75(2):213-6. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.07.012. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Epirubicin and ifosfamide in relapsed or refractory small cell lung cancer patients.

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  • 1Montpellier Academic Hospital, Service d'Oncologie Thoracique, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

In small cell lung cancer (SCLC), despite the high response rates induced by platinum-based first line chemotherapies, relapse happens in 85% of the first-line responding tumors. Since 1992 we used a combination of epirubicin and ifosfamide (EI) as a non-cross-resistant regimen in relapsed or refractory SCLC. With the topotecan approval in second line treatment, this combination has been moved from the second line to the third line setting.

METHODS:

Patients presenting with a relapsed or refractory, histologically proven, SCLC were considered for this combination associating ifosfamide 3 g/m(2) day 1-2 with uroprotection using mesna, and epirubicin 90 mg/m(2) day 1 given every four weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity.

RESULTS:

Seventy patients were accrued between September 1992 and August 2010 (seven women). Median age was 56 years. Performance Status was 0, 1, 2 and 3 for 16 (23%), 25 (35%), 20 (29%) and 9 (13%) patients respectively. Proportion of refractory, resistant and sensitive tumors was 20, 21 and 59% respectively. Median time from first line chemotherapy until progression was 90 days (range 5-1720 days). Forty-four patients were treated in second line setting whereas the 26 others have had received two lines at time of accrual. A total of 203 cycles were delivered (median 2 cycles, range: 1-6). Fifteen patients (21.4%) achieved an objective response (including one complete), and 10% had a stable disease. Median overall survival was 3.9 months (95% confidence interval: 3.3-5.1). Overall NCI-CTC grade 3 and 4 toxicity was mainly hematological: neutropenia (71% of the patients, febrile neutropenia 9.4% of the cycles), thrombocytopenia (23%), and anemia (22%). In univariate analysis, previous anthracyclines treatment was associated with a trend towards shorter survival (median overall survival 3.9 versus 4.6 months, p=0.12). In multivariate analysis, only a high serum NSE level and presence of brain metastases were independent prognostic variables.

CONCLUSION:

The EI combination is an active regimen in relapsed or refractory SCLC. The trend towards a greater activity of this regimen in patients not pretreated using anthracyclines suggests that class of agents should be tested in SCLC relapsing after the etoposide-platinum standard regimen.

PMID:
21831476
DOI:
10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.07.012
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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