The combination of etoposide and cisplatin in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

A. Ardizzoni, G. Antonelli, F. Grossi, L. Tixi, M. Cafferata, R. Rosso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been a subject of debate for many years. Only recently, cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy has been demonstrated to yield a small but definite survival benefit and to improve symptoms, performance status and quality of life in a substantial proportion Of advanced NSCLC patients. The cisplatin-etoposide (PE) regimen was developed in the early 1980s and has been one of the standard chemotherapy programs most extensively used in the clinical practice until a few years ago. More recently, several randomized trials have compared the efficacy of new cisplatin-containing combination chemotherapies including Paclitaxel or Gemcitabine with that of PE or PE-like regimens. Preliminary results are encouraging, indicating a small benefit in favor of the last generation of regimens which might therefore replace PE as 'gold standards' in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. However, the costs of these last generation regimens is higher and the entity of the benefit small. Therefore, PE chemotherapy can still be an option in selected situations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Advanced disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Etoposide
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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