Non-platinum-based first-line followed by platinum-based second-line chemotherapy or the reverse sequence in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a retrospective analysis by the lung cancer group of the Hellenic Oncology Research Group

Oncology. 2010;78(3-4):229-36. doi: 10.1159/000315729. Epub 2010 Jun 4.


Background: Non-platinum-containing regimens have been proposed as alternatives to platinum-based doublets in the first-line treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, conflicting results about their equivalence have been reported.

Methods: We reviewed the records of patients enrolled in randomized controlled first-line trials conducted by the Hellenic Oncology Research Group from February 1997 to September 2006. The outcome of patients treated with first-line non-platinum-based chemotherapy who received platinum-based chemotherapy upon progression (cohort A) or platinum-based first-line chemotherapy followed by non-platinum-containing second-line chemotherapy (cohort B) was retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Two-hundred and sixty-seven patients were identified in cohort A, and 123 in cohort B. Median follow-up time was 12.5 and 15.7 months for cohorts A and B. A significantly higher response rate and time to tumor progression (TTP) was recorded for patients treated with platinum-based compared to those receiving non-platinum-based first-line chemotherapy (45.5 vs. 21.3%, p < 0.0001 and 5.8 vs. 3.1 months, p= 0.002, respectively). Platinum-based regimens administered as second-line treatment resulted in a 13.1% response rate. TTP for second-line chemotherapy did not differ significantly between the two cohorts. Median overall survival was 13.3 and 15.7 months for cohorts A and B (p = 0.538).

Conclusion: Both sequences resulted in similar efficacy in terms of overall survival. Encouraging median survival was achieved for selected patients with NSCLC who received both first- and second-line chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platinum / chemistry*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platinum