Background: To compare the efficacy and toxicity of three platinum-based combination regimens against cisplatin plus irinotecan (IP) in patients with untreated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by a non-inferiority design.
Patients and methods: A total of 602 patients were randomly assigned to one of four regimens: cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus irinotecan 60 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 15 every 4 weeks (IP) carboplatin AUC 6.0 min x mg/mL (area under the concentration-time curve) on day 1 plus paclitaxel 200 mg/m(2) on day 1 every 3 weeks (TC); cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 every 3 weeks (GP); and cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus vinorelbine 25 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 every 3 weeks (NP).
Results: The response rate, median survival time, and 1-year survival rate were 31.0%, 13.9 months, 59.2%, respectively, in IP; 32.4%, 12.3 months, 51.0% in TC; 30.1%, 14.0 months, 59.6% in GP; and 33.1%, 11.4 months, 48.3% in NP. No statistically significant differences were found in response rate or overall survival, but the non-inferiority of none of the experimental regimens could be confirmed. All the four regimens were well tolerated.
Conclusion: The four regimens have similar efficacy and different toxicity profiles, and they can be used to treat advanced NSCLC patients.