A randomised phase III study of palliative radiation with concomitant carboplatin for brain metastases from non-small cell carcinoma of the lung

Lung Cancer. 2004 Oct;46(1):107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.02.019.


Purpose: To determine if the addition of carboplatin chemotherapy to whole brain irradiation improves response and survival in patients with brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Patients and methods: Forty-two patients with brain metastases from NSCLC and performance status ECOG 0-2 were randomised to receive either whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) alone (20Gy in five fractions) or the same radiotherapy plus concomitant carboplatin (70 mg/m(2) intravenously for 5 days).

Results: The median survival was 4.4 months in the radiotherapy alone (RT) arm and 3.7 months in the combined treatment (RTC) arm (P = 0.64). The objective response rates of 10% on the RT arm and 29% on the RTC arm were not significantly different (P = 0.24). The trial was closed early because of poor accrual.

Conclusions: Although no firm conclusions can be made regarding the efficacy of the combined treatment, this prospective study highlights the poor objective response rates and relatively poor symptom control despite standard treatment of brain metastases from NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Irradiation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carboplatin