Weekly vinorelbine in elderly patients with non-small-cell lung cancer

M. Colleoni, F. Gaion, P. Nelli, G. M. Colmellere, P. Manente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: Many lung cancers are diagnosed in patients over 65 years of age, but limited data are available on the tolerance and activity in elderly patients of chemotherapy protocols designed for adults. Methods: We therefore activated a phase II study in patients aged 65 years or older affected by stage IIIB-IV non-small-cell lung cancer in order to assess the tolerance and activity of vinorelbine administered weekly at a dose of 25 mg/m2. Results: Since June 1992, 25 patients (20 males, 5 females; performance status ECOG, 0-2) have been included in the study and are evaluable for response and side effects. Two-hundred and twenty-eight cycles of therapy have been delivered (median/patient, 9 cycles). Four partial remissions (16%; 95% confidence interval 5-36%), 9 disease stabilizations, and 12 progressions have been observed. Median time to disease progression was 3 months, and median survival was 5 months (range, 2-25+). Mild or moderate side effects included leukopenia (6 cases), neutropenia (4 cases), anemia (4 cases), nausea (4 cases), infection (3 cases) and thoracic pain (2 cases). Grade III/IV toxicity consisted mainly of leukopenia and neutropenia observed respectively in 5 and in 7 patients. No significant difference in terms of tolerability has been observed for patients aged 65 to 70 with respect to patients aged 70 years or older. Conclusions: The administration of vinorelbine in elderly patients does not seem to differ significantly in terms of response and tolerability from that recorded for adults. Selected elderly patients with good performance status and adequate organ function can be safely treated with systemic chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-452
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • chemotherapy
  • elderly
  • non-small-cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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