Purpose: To evaluate the activity and toxicity of the sequential administration of vinorelbine/cisplatin (VC regimen) followed by the docetaxel/gemcitabine (DG regimen) combination in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Patients and treatment: Fifty-nine previously untreated patients with advanced/metastatic NSCLC received three cycles of cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) (day 1), and vinorelbine 30 mg/m(2) (days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks; VC regimen), followed by six cycles of docetaxel (65 mg/m(2), day 1) and gemcitabine (1,500 mg/m(2), day 1), (DG regimen) every 2 weeks.
Results: One (1.7%) complete and 26 (44.1%) partial responses were achieved for an overall response rate of 45.8% (95% CI 33.05-58.48%); 12 (20.3%) patients had stable disease and 20 (33.9%) progressive disease. The median time to progression was 5.3 months, the median survival time 12.5 months and the 1-year survival rate 51%. The main toxicity was grade III/IV neutropenia occurring in 25.5% of patients; all other hematologic and non-hematologic toxicities were relatively infrequent.
Conclusions: The sequential administration of VC and DG regimens was well tolerated and active against advanced NSCLC and merits to be further evaluated against a single doublet.