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J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2019 Jan;25(1):44-51. doi: 10.1177/1078155217724595. Epub 2017 Aug 21.

Effectiveness of adjuvant carboplatin-based chemotherapy compared to cisplatin in non-small cell lung cancer.

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1 Département de Pharmacie, 55973 Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (Hôpital Laval), Québec , Canada.
2 Université Laval, Faculté de Pharmacie, 2325 rue de l'Université, Québec, Canada.
3 CHU de Québec Research Centre-Université Laval, Oncology Division, Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise, Québec, Canada.



Cisplatin and vinorelbine given intravenously is a well-established adjuvant chemotherapy regimen after surgery for early non-small cell lung cancer. However, few validated alternatives exist when cisplatin is not indicated or tolerated. Carboplatin is frequently used in this setting. We evaluated the 5-year overall survival, progression-free survival and toxicity in patients treated for stage IB to IIIB resected non-small cell lung cancer receiving adjuvant carboplatin-based chemotherapy compared to cisplatin in association with vinorelbine.


Single-center retrospective study of patients having received adjuvant chemotherapy between January 2004 and December 2013 at the oncology clinic at Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (Canada). Three sub-groups, cisplatin/vinorelbine, carboplatin/vinorelbine and the substitution of cisplatin/vinorelbine for carboplatin/vinorelbine (cisplatin/vinorelbine/carboplatin/vinorelbine), were studied during treatment.


One hundred twenty-seven patients were included in this study. The median PFS was not significantly different, with 50.4 months for cisplatin/vinorelbine, 57.3 months for cisplatin/vinorelbine/carboplatin/vinorelbine and not yet achieved for the carboplatin/vinorelbine group ( p = 0.80). Overall survival also did not differ significantly between the three groups. The 5-year overall survival rates were 66% in cisplatin/vinorelbine group, 55% in carboplatin/vinorelbine group and 70% in cisplatin/vinorelbine/carboplatin/vinorelbine group ( p = 0, 95). No differences were noted between groups concerning high-grade hematologic toxicity.


Although the effectiveness and hematologic toxicity are comparable between cisplat in and carboplatin in the adjuvant treatment of resected non-small cell lung cancer, the results obtained corroborate the practice used at our oncology clinic. Nevertheless, more prospective studies would be needed to confirm these results.


Adjuvant chemotherapy; carboplatin; cisplatin; non-small cell lung cancer; survival; vinorelbine


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