Introduction: Treatment of elderly patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is based on scanty evidence. Methods: Patients with extensive SCLC, age >70 years, and performance status 0-2 were eligible for a study looking for optimal two-drug combination of gemcitabine (Gem) with vinorelbine (Vin), etoposide (Eto), cisplatin (Cis), or carboplatin (Car). Gemcitabine dose was the same (1000 mg/m 2, days 1-8) in all combinations. A two-stage minimax flexible design for response was applied to GemVin combination (Vin 25 mg/m 2, days 1-8). For GemCar, GemCis, GemEto, a phase I-II Bayesian design was applied, looking for the optimal dose of the partner drugs. Objective response rate ≥60% and unacceptable toxicity ≤25% were required to define a combination worthy of further studies. Results: Median age of 78 eligible patients was 74 years. GemVin produced a 36.7% objective response rate. GemEto and GemCis arms were found not sufficiently active. GemCar produced 16 responses (14 with area under the curve [AUC] 3.5 and 2 with AUC 4.0) in 26 patients (61.5%) and 6 cases of unacceptable toxicity (3 at each Car dose). Conclusions: In elderly patients with extensive SCLC, GemVin, GemEto, and GemCis are not enough active and do not merit further studies. Gem plus Car might deserve further attention.
- Platinum compounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine