Randomized phase III trial comparing single-agent paclitaxel Poliglumex (CT-2103, PPX) with single-agent gemcitabine or vinorelbine for the treatment of PS 2 patients with chemotherapy-naïve advanced non-small cell lung cancer

J Thorac Oncol. 2008 Jul;3(7):728-34. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31817c6b68.


Background: Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and impaired performance status (PS >or= 2) have limited life expectancies and decreased tolerance for drug-induced toxicities. Current treatment guidelines indicate that PS 2 patients benefit from systemic therapy. Further refinement of treatment in these patients requires reduction of treatment-associated toxicities while maintaining or improving efficacy. Paclitaxel poliglumex (PPX), a macromolecular polymer-drug conjugate of paclitaxel and poly-l-glutamic acid, may enhance the therapeutic index of paclitaxel.

Methods: Chemotherapy-naive PS 2 patients with advanced NSCLC randomly received single-agent PPX (175 mg/m) or a comparator (single-agent vinorelbine or gemcitabine). The primary end point of this study was overall survival.

Results: Overall survival was similar between treatment arms (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.95; log-rank p = 0.686). Median and 1-year survival were 7.3 months and 26%, respectively, for PPX versus 6.6 months and 26% for the control arm. There was a nonsignificant trend toward improved survival in women in the PPX arm compared with standard single agents (HR = 0.65; p = 0.069). The most frequent grade 3/4 adverse events in the treatment versus control arm were dyspnea (13% versus 17%, respectively) and fatigue (10% versus 9%). Grade 3/4 neutropenia and anemia were reduced in the PPX arm (2% versus 8% and 3% versus 9%, respectively). Neuropathy, a taxane-specific toxicity, was more common in the PPX arm; grade 3 neuropathy was limited to 3%.

Conclusions: Single-agent PPX, dosed at 175 mg/m, is active and well tolerated in PS 2 patients with advanced NSCLC. Patients on PPX required fewer red blood cell transfusions, hematopoietic growth factors, opioid analgesics, and clinic visits than patients receiving gemcitabine or vinorelbine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / analogs & derivatives*
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Polyglutamic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polyglutamic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Survival Rate


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Polyglutamic Acid
  • Paclitaxel
  • paclitaxel poliglumex
  • Gemcitabine