Randomized phase III study of surgery alone or surgery plus preoperative cisplatin and gemcitabine in stages IB to IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer

Giorgio V. Scagliotti, Ugo Pastorino, Johan F. Vansteenkiste, Lorenzo Spaggiari, Francesco Facciolo, Tadeusz M. Orlowski, Luigi Maiorino, Martin Hetzel, Monika Leschinger, Carla Visseren-Grul, Valter Torri

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Purpose: This study aimed to determine whether three preoperative cycles of gemcitabine plus cisplatin followed by radical surgery provides a reduction in the risk of progression compared with surgery alone in patients with stages IB to IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods: Patients with chemotherapy-naive NSCLC (stages IB, II, or IIIA) were randomly assigned to receive either three cycles of gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m2 days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks plus cisplatin 75 mg/m2 day 1 every 3 weeks followed by surgery, or surgery alone. Randomization was stratified by center and disease stage (IB/IIA v IIB/IIIA). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Results: The study was prematurely closed after the random assignment of 270 patients: 129 to chemotherapy plus surgery and 141 to surgery alone. Median age was 61.8 years and 83.3% were male. Slightly more patients in the surgery alone arm had disease stage IB/IIA (55.3% v 48.8%). The chemotherapy response rate was 35.4%. The hazard ratios for PFS and overall survival were 0.70 (95% CI, 0.50 to 0.97; P = .003) and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.43 to 0.92; P = .02), respectively, both in favor of chemotherapy plus surgery. A statistically significant impact of preoperative chemotherapy on outcomes was observed in the stage IIB/IIIA subgroup (3-year PFS rate: 36.1% v 55.4%; P = .002). The most common grade 3 or 4 chemotherapy-related adverse events were neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. No treatment-by-histology interaction effect was apparent. Conclusion: Although the study was terminated early, preoperative gemcitabine plus cisplatin followed by radical surgery improved survival in patients with clinical stage IIB/IIIA NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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