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Taxotere Found Active Against Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Taxotere Found Active Against Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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 City.

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.

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