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Keywords:

  • lung cancer;
  • weekly schedule;
  • paclitaxel;
  • gemcitabine;
  • pneumonitis

Abstract

BACKGROUND.

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of the noncisplatin-based combination of paclitaxel and gemcitabine administered weekly for patients with untreated metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS.

Patients with Stage IIIB/IV or recurrent NSCLC, a performance status of 0–2, and no prior chemotherapy exposure were eligible. Patients received gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 and paclitaxel 85 mg/m2 on Days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 36 of an 8-week cycle until progression.

RESULTS.

Thirty-nine eligible patients were enrolled. The median age was 66 years and 14 patients were ≥70 years old. Performance status was 2 in 13 (33%) and 29 patients (75%) had Stage IV. Five patients (12.8%) developed interstitial pneumonitis and 2 of these were responsive to steroid therapy. The overall response rate was 23.1%, with no complete responses. The median survival was 32 weeks and the 1-year survival was 32%.

CONCLUSIONS.

This regimen of weekly paclitaxel and gemcitabine has modest activity in advanced NSCLC. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.