Weekly paclitaxel and cisplatin with concurrent radiotherapy in locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: A phase I study

G. Frasci, P. Comella, G. Scoppa, C. Guida, A. Gravina, F. Fiore, R. Casaretti, A. Daponte, A. Parziale, G. Comella

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Purpose: Both cisplatin (CDDP) and paclitaxel have shown good antitumor activity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and are able to potentiate the antitumor effects of radiation therapy (RT). This study aimed to determine the maximum-tolerated doses (MTDs) of CDDP and paclitaxel (escalated alternately) when given concurrently with RT and to define the nature of the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). Patients and Methods: Chemotherapy-naive patients with locally advanced NSCLC received six weekly administrations of a CDDP-paclitaxel combination with concurrent local RT. The starting doses of CDDP and paclitaxel were 30 mg/m2/wk and 35 mg/m2/wk, respectively. RT was initially given at the dose of 1.2 Gy twice daily for 5 days per week for 5 weeks (total dose, 60 Gy) and at a single daily dose of 2 Gy for 5 days per week for 6 weeks in the last two cohorts of patients. The drug doses were escalated alternately until DLT occurred in more than one third of the patients in a given cohort. Results: Overall, 25 patients were recruited through five different cohorts. All were assessable for toxicity. Esophagitis was the main toxicity and occurred in 16 of 25 patients (64%) and was grade 3 or 4 in five of them. At step 3 (CDDP 35 mg/m2/wk and paclitaxel 45 mg/m2/wk), two of five patients had to discontinue treatment because of severe esophagitis and one of these died of complications related to grade 4 esophagitis. However, keeping the same doses of chemotherapy and replacing hyperfractionation with a standard single-day fraction, weekly doses of CDDP and paclitaxel of 35 mg/m2 and 45 mg/m2 could be safely administered. Neutropenia was by far the most relevant hematologic toxicity and occurred in 33 of 141 weakly delivered courses, but it was of grade 4 in only four courses. Substantial pulmonary or neurologic toxicity was not observed in this study. Two complete responses (CRs) and 13 partial responses (PRs) were observed, for a 60% overall response rate (95% confidence interval [CI], 39% to 79%). The median survival time was 16 months, with a 66% 1-year survival probability. Conclusion: CDDP 35 mg/m2/wk and paclitaxel 45 mg/m2/wk can be safely administered with concurrent standard RT. The use of hyperfractionation is associated with a more frequent occurrence of severe esophagitis and requires a reduction of the CDDP dose to 30 mg/m2/wk. Only future randomized trials will elucidate which of these two approaches (standard or hyperfractionated RT) is the better option to improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1417
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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