Cisplatin plus etoposide chemotherapy followed by thoracic irradiation and paclitaxel plus cisplatin consolidation therapy for patients with limited stage small cell lung carcinoma

Lung Cancer. 2006 Jul;53(1):59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2006.03.011. Epub 2006 May 23.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of a cisplatin plus etoposide regimen followed by thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) and paclitaxel plus cisplatin consolidation chemotherapy in patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Patients and methods: Thirty-nine patients with limited SCLC were enrolled onto this study. Patients received three courses of cisplatin 75 mg/m2 i.v., day 1 and etoposide 100 mg/m2 i.v., days 1-3 (EP regimen), followed by TRT (45-56 Gy administered in 15 fractions), and three courses of paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 i.v., day 1 and cisplatin, as previously, on day 2 (PP regimen); cycles were repeated every 21 days.

Results: All patients were evaluable for toxicity and 34 for response. The overall response rate was 67% (CR: 26%; PR: 41%; intention-to-treat analysis) (95% CI: 53.0-84.2%). After a median follow-up period of 15 months, the median survival time was 15 months, the median time to tumor progression 8.3 months and the 1-year survival rate 53.8%. Grade 3/4 neutropenia occurred in 39% and 36% of patients receiving EP and PP regimens, respectively. The incidence of febrile neutropenia was 5% and 3% for EP and PP regimens, respectively. Other hematologic and non-hematologic toxicities were mild, with the exception of esophagitis occurring in 36% of patients during and/or immediately after radiotherapy.

Conclusion: Consolidation therapy with PP after sequential EP and thoracic radiotherapy is feasible and well-tolerated; however, the efficacy results are comparable with those previously obtained in the same patients' population using a combination of EP and TRT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin