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

May 1, 1996

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.

Many patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) respondto treatment with docetaxel (Taxotere), according to results presentedat the 1994 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meetingin Lisbon, Portugal.

Patients with advanced NSCLC who had received prior chemotherapywith other agents, as well as patients who had not been givenchemotherapy previously, responded well to docetaxel, accordingto two sets of data presented by investigators at M.D. AndersonCancer Center, Houston; Cancer Therapy and Research Center, SanAntonio; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New YorkCity.

In the first series, comprised of 104 patients who were previouslyuntreated, docetaxel showed a 41% response rate, where the tumoreither partially or completely disappeared.

"As a single agent, Taxotere has demonstrated the highestantitumor activity in NSCLC we have ever seen at our institution,"said principal investigator Dr. Frank Fossella of the M.D. AndersonCancer Center. "Of particular note is that Taxotere is alsovery active as second line treatment for the disease."

The second set of data reported the benefits of docetaxel in 74patients with advanced NSCLC whose disease had progressed in spiteof previous treatment with cisplatin. The investigators reportedthat, 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 typeswere also reported at ESMO this year--including breast, lung,ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.

"Taxotere shows very promising activity in a wide range oftumors. Its results in the treatment of pancreatic tumors is particularlyinteresting, as cancer of the pancreas is notoriously difficultto treat," said chief investigator Dr. Philippe Rougier ofthe Gustave-Roussy Institute in Paris, France.

Docetaxel was evaluated in 41 patients with pancreatic cancer.Five partial responses were noted, with the disease being stabilizedin 11 patients. In patients where the cancer had not yet spreadbeyond the pancreas, three out of 11 people showed a decreasein tumor size.