Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of metronomic vinorelbine in combination with cisplatin as first-line treatment in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Patients and methods: A total of 41 patients with inoperable stage IIIb or stage IV NSCLC (14 with adenocarcinomas, 19 with squamous cell carcinoma and eight with other types), PS = 0-2, were treated with cisplatin (80 mg/m(2)) in combination with oral metronomic vinorelbine (60 mg total dose, every other day) in cycles of 21 days.
Results: A total of 35 patients who received at least one cycle of chemotherapy were evaluable for toxicity and response. Partial response was achieved in 13 patients (ORR 37.1%; CI 21.1-53.1%) and stable disease in 10 (28.6%). After a median follow-up period of 26.2 months (range 0.5-33.4 months), the median progression-free survival was 4.2 months and the median overall survival 12.0 months. The 1-year survival rate was 52.6%. Myelosuppression was the main adverse event with grade 3 and 4 neutropenia occurring in five (14.3%) and six (17.1%) patients, respectively. Three of these patients presented with febrile neutropenia and there was one death due to sepsis. Non-hematologic toxicities were mild.
Conclusion: Cisplatin in combination with metronomic vinorelbine is an active, although myelotoxic, therapeutic option in the first-line setting for the treatment of patients with locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, which merits further evaluation in randomized trials.