A phase II study of biweekly paclitaxel (P) and gemcitabine (G), followed by maintenance weekly paclitaxel in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Maria Simona Pino, Teresa Gamucci, Giovanni Mansueto, Tiziana Trapasso, Filomena Narducci, Maria Anna Giampaolo, Anna Maria Fariello, Isabella Sperduti, Anna Ceribelli, Francesco Cognetti

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Background: This phase II study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a novel combination of paclitaxel (P) and gemcitabine (G) in an every 2 weeks schedule followed by weekly paclitaxel (P) as first-line treatment in elderly patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC. Methods: Elderly patients (≥65 years of age) with 1997 TNM stage IIIB (pleural effusion)/stage IV NSCLC, performance status (PS) of 0-2 and normal organ function were eligible. Therapy consisted of P at 150 mg/m2 and G at 2000 mg/m2 administered every 2 weeks for 3 cycles followed, in progression-free patients, by P at 80 mg/m2 every week for 6 consecutive weeks every 8 weeks for 2 cycles. Results: Fifty-three eligible patients were enrolled: M/F 51/2; stage IIIB/IV 8/45; PS 0, 40%, PS 1 51%, PS 2 9%; median age, 73 years (range 67-82). The overall response rate was 32% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 19-45). The median overall survival was 7 months (95% CI: 5-9); the median progression-free survival was 5 months (95% CI: 3-6); and the 1- and 2-year survivals were 28.3% and 10.1%, respectively. Both phases of the treatment protocol were well tolerated. Conclusions: Biweekly P/G followed by weekly P is well tolerated and active as first-line therapy for elderly NSCLC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008



  • Biweekly therapy
  • Elderly
  • Gemcitabine
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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