Purpose: Paclitaxel/carboplatin (PC) is one of the reference combinations in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). No triplet novel agent combination has until now shown superiority over a two-drug combination for advanced NSCLC. We therefore conducted a clinical trial to test if paclitaxel/carboplatin/gemcitabine (PCG) increases overall survival (OS) and response rate (RR) over PC. Methods: Stage IIIB patients not suitable for radical radiation treatment and stage IV chemotherapy-naive patients with measurable disease and performance status of 0 to 2 were randomly assigned to PC arm (paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under the concentration-time curve 6 day 1/q21 days) or the PCG arm (paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under the concentration-time curve 6 day 1, and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 days 1 and 8 every 21 days). Results: A total of 324 patients were randomly assigned to the two arms. The RR for PC arm and PCG arm were 20.2% and 46% (P <.0001). The median time to the progression was 5.1 months in the PC group and 7.6 months in the PCG group (P = .012; hazard ratio [HR] 1.34; 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.72). Median OS was 8.3 months and 10.8 months (P = .032; HR 1.309; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.67) in favor of the PCG arm. One-year survival was 34% (PC arm) and 45% (PCG arm; P = .032). Only hematologic toxicity (neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia) was significantly increased in the PCG arm and the experimental arm required more platelet and red blood cell transfusions, and more granulocyte colony-stimulating factor usage. No toxic/early deaths were observed. Conclusion: The PCG regimen offers a significant survival advantage over PC in advanced NSCLC, making PCG a treatment option for advanced NSCLC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research