From March 1987 to February 1991, 136 patients with untreated small cell lung cancer (64 patients with limited disease and 72 with extensive disease), were treated as part of a prospective multi-center study, with a combination of cyclophosphamide 1000 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1, epirubicin 70 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1 and etoposide 100 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1, 3 and 5. Courses were repeated every 3 weeks. One-hundred thirty-four patients were evaluable. There were 42 (31%) complete responses and 66 (49%) partial responses for an overall response rate of 80% (95% confidence interval 71-87%). A complete response was seen in 24 patients (38%) with limited disease and in 18 patients (26%) with extensive disease, while a partial response was observed for 31 (48%) and in 35 (50%) patients, respectively. The median duration of response for all patients was 8.9 months (range, 1-60+ months). The median duration of survival for the entire group was 11.4 months (12.5 months for limited disease and 9.8 months for extensive disease). The 2-year survival rate for the whole group was 13%. The main side-effects were myelosupression, alopecia, nausea and vomiting. Grade 4 toxicity was seen in 8.5% of patients. In conclusion, the studied regimen was found to be active and well tolerated and may be considered as an alternative to standard chemotherapy combinations in SCLC.
- Small cell lung cancer
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