Toxicity and outcome of a phase II trial of taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 3-dimensional, conformal, accelerated radiotherapy in locally advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer




The objective of this study was to evaluate prospectively the acute and late adverse effects of taxane/carboplatin neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 3-dimensional, conformal radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Forty-two patients were entered into a nonrandomized Phase II study of continuous, hyperfractionated, accelerated radiotherapy (CHART) week-end less (CHARTWEL) to a dose of 60 grays (Gy). Three cycles of chemotherapy were given over 9 weeks before radiotherapy. Dose escalation with paclitaxel was from 150 mg/m2 to 225 mg/m2. Systemic toxicity to chemotherapy was monitored throughout. Radiation-induced, early, adverse effects were assessed during the first 9 weeks from the start of radiotherapy, and late effects were assessed from 3 months onward. Overall survival, disease-free survival, and locoregional tumor control also were monitored.


Twenty percent of patients failed to receive chemotherapy as planned, primarily because of neutropenia. The incidence of Dische Dictionary Grade ≥2 and Grade ≥3 dysphagia was 57.5% and 10%, respectively, with an average duration of 1.2 weeks and 1.5 days, respectively. By 9 weeks, <3% of patients were symptomatic; and, eventually, all acute reactions were healed, and there has been no evidence of consequential damage. At 6 months, the actuarial incidence of moderate-to-severe pneumonitis was 10%. During this time, all patients were free of severe pulmonary complications. Actuarial estimates of Grade ≥2 late lung dysfunction were 3% at 1 year, 10% at 2 years, and remained at this level thereafter. The actuarial 3-year locoregional control and overall survival rates were 54% and 45%, respectively.


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by 3-dimensional, conformal CHARTWEL 60-Gy radiotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC was feasible and was tolerated well. Historic comparisons indicated that locoregional tumor control is not compromised by the use of conformal techniques. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.