Long term follow up and analysis of long term survivors in patients treated with paclitaxel-based concurrent chemo/radiation therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2005 Nov;50(2):235-45. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2005.05.020. Epub 2005 Jul 25.


Purpose: For patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LANSCLC), concurrent chemotherapy/radiation therapy (RT) has become the standard of care. Three multi-institutional phase II studies with paclitaxel-based chemotherapeutic regimen given concurrently with RT for patients with LANSCLC were performed from March of 1994 to May of 1997. We sought to determine mature data from this database of patients, as well as to perform analysis of a cohort of patients who have achieved long term survival (LTS) when treated with this regimen.

Patients and methods: Database of these patients was analyzed retrospectively upon longer follow up, with median follow up for the three studies being 498 days (range 11-2905 days, average 780 days). Weight loss limitation for the three studies was liberal: weight loss <10% and <15% 3 months preceding diagnosis (LUN-27 and LUN-63, respectively), and no weight loss limitation for LUN-56.

Results: The 4-year overall survival (OS) for the three trials was 16.3%, and 2-year progression free survival (PFS) was 25.7%. Statistical analysis of the long term survivors (OS > 4 years) was performed, and performance status (PS) was found to be a significant factor predictive of LTS. PS of 0 compared to 1 yielded a 2.5-fold increased likelihood of LTS (p = .04). There was also a trend (p = .067) for responders (complete or partial response) to yield a five-fold likelihood of LTS compared to non-responders (stable or progressive disease).

Conclusion: Our results support the efficacy of combined modality therapy (CMT) for patients with LANSCLC even despite our more liberal weight loss eligibility criteria. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that LTS is more likely to be achievable in patients with PS = 0 compared to 1 when treated with CMT for LANSCLC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Weight Loss


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Paclitaxel