LISBON, PortugalNew phase III trials testing novel combinations of
platinums and taxanes in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) are
yielding encouraging results, according to two studies presented at the 11th
European Cancer Conference (ECCO).
The Norwegian Lung Cancer Group (abstract 556) has reported that, for
patients with limited disease, treatment with cisplatin (Platinol) and
etoposide (VePesid) (EP) results in significantly better survival at 2 and 5
years than does a regimen of cyclophosphamide, epi-rubicin (Ellence), and
In addition, the findings of a multi-center German trial (abstract 557)
indicate that, in patients with extensive disease, the combination of
paclitaxel (Taxol) plus etoposide plus carboplatin (Paraplatin) (TEP) prolongs
2- and 3-year survival, compared with standard chemotherapy consisting of
carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine (PEV).
The Norwegian national study enrolled 436 SCLC patients under the age of 75,
all of whom had an ECOG performance status of 0 to 2 and adequate renal and
bone marrow function, noted Dr. Stein Sundstrøm, from the University Hospital
"We feel we can claim that the study population reflected real
life," Dr. Sundstrøm said. He pointed out that the pool of participants
represented 40% of all eligible candidates in Norway and that the treatment was
carried out at 25 different hospitals, including small county hospitals.
Patients randomized to the EP arm received five courses of etoposide 100
mg/m² IV and cisplatin 75 mg/m² on day 1, followed by oral etoposide 200
on days 2 to 4. Those assigned to CEV chemotherapy were given five cycles of
cyclophosphamide 1,000 mg/m², vincristine 2 mg/m², and epirubicin 50 mg/m², all
on day 1.