Many patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) respond
to treatment with docetaxel (Taxotere), according to results presented
at the 1994 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting
in Lisbon, Portugal.
Patients with advanced NSCLC who had received prior chemotherapy
with other agents, as well as patients who had not been given
chemotherapy previously, responded well to docetaxel, according
to two sets of data presented by investigators at M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center, Houston; Cancer Therapy and Research Center, San
Antonio; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
In the first series, comprised of 104 patients who were previously
untreated, docetaxel showed a 41% response rate, where the tumor
either partially or completely disappeared.
"As a single agent, Taxotere has demonstrated the highest
antitumor activity in NSCLC we have ever seen at our institution,"
said principal investigator Dr. Frank Fossella of the M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center. "Of particular note is that Taxotere is also
very active as second line treatment for the disease."
The second set of data reported the benefits of docetaxel in 74
patients with advanced NSCLC whose disease had progressed in spite
of previous treatment with cisplatin. The investigators reported
that, even in this very difficult to treat group of patients,
docetaxel showed a 26% overall response rate.
Twelve other sets of data on docetaxel in a variety of tumor types
were also reported at ESMO this year--including breast, lung,
ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.
"Taxotere shows very promising activity in a wide range of
tumors. Its results in the treatment of pancreatic tumors is particularly
interesting, as cancer of the pancreas is notoriously difficult
to treat," said chief investigator Dr. Philippe Rougier of
the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Paris, France.
Docetaxel was evaluated in 41 patients with pancreatic cancer.
Five partial responses were noted, with the disease being stabilized
in 11 patients. In patients where the cancer had not yet spread
beyond the pancreas, three out of 11 people showed a decrease
in tumor size.