Author | Frances A. Shepherd, MD, FRCPC


Current Paradigms in First-Line Treatment of Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

July 01, 2004

Standard first-line chemotherapy for the majority of patients withadvanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) consists of platinumbasedcombination regimens including one of the newer-generationagents, such as gemcitabine (Gemzar), a taxane, vinorelbine(Navelbine), or irinotecan (Camptosar). Several effective regimens areavailable, the choice of which will depend on treatment goals, individualpatient or disease factors, as well as physician preferences. Thispaper surveys randomized trials of many of the newer-generation chemotherapycombinations in patients with advanced NSCLC to examineseveral issues, such as which new-generation regimen to use, whethera platinum agent is needed, the optimal number of drugs in the combination,and treatment duration.

The Benefits of Achieving Stable Disease in Advanced Lung Cancer

July 01, 2003

Dr. Karen Kelly has written atimely discussion on the clinicalbenefit of achieving stabledisease in advanced non–smallcelllung cancer (NSCLC). The goalsof current therapy are to palliate symptoms,optimize quality of life (QOL),and prolong survival. It is argued thattumor shrinkage may not be mandatoryto achieve these goals, particularlyin the evaluation of moleculartargeted therapies that may be cytostaticrather than cytotoxic in theirmechanism of action. However, stabledisease is not regarded as evidenceof therapeutic efficacy byregulatory authorities. Furthermore, ifbased on radiologic measurements Continued on page 968.alone, this designation encompasses aheterogeneous population that includespatients who demonstrate unequivocaltumor shrinkage as well asmany with tumor growth. Therefore,the case is presented to define stabledisease in terms of clinical benefit byincorporating alternative trial endpoints such as symptom control, QOL,or biologic end points.