Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of amrubicin, (+)-(7S, 9S)-9-acetyl-9-amino-7-[(2-deoxy-beta-D-erythro-pentopyranosyl )oxy]-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,11-dihydroxy-5,12-naphthacenedione hydrochloride, in previously untreated patients with extensive-disease small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Patients and methods: A total of 35 previously untreated patients with extensive-disease SCLC were entered into the study. Amrubicin was given by daily intravenous infusion at 45 mg/m(2)/day for 3 consecutive days, every 3 weeks. Unless there was tumor regression of 25% or greater after the first cycle, or 50% or greater after the second cycle, treatment was switched to salvage chemotherapy in combination with etoposide (100 mg/m(2), days 1, 2, and 3) and cisplatin (80 mg/m(2), day 1).
Results: Of the 35 patients entered, 33 were eligible and assessable for efficacy and toxicity. Of the 33 patients, 3 (9.1%) had a complete response (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-24.3%) and 22 had a partial response, for an overall response rate of 75.8% (95% CI, 57.7-88.9%). Median survival time was 11.7 months (95% CI, 9.9-15.3 months), and 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 48.5% and 20.2%, respectively. The most common toxicity was hematologic. Non-hematologic toxicity of grade 3 or 4 was only seen in 3 patients with anorexia (9.1%) and 1 patient with alopecia (3.0%). Salvage chemotherapy was administered to only 6 patients.
Conclusion: Amrubicin was active for extensive-disease SCLC with acceptable toxicity. Further studies in combination with other agents for SCLC are warranted.