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Review
, 23 (6 Suppl 16), 18-25

The North American Experience With Paclitaxel Combined With Cisplatin or Carboplatin in Lung Cancer

Affiliations
  • PMID: 9007116
Review

The North American Experience With Paclitaxel Combined With Cisplatin or Carboplatin in Lung Cancer

P A Bunn Jr. Semin Oncol.

Abstract

Paclitaxel (Taxol; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ) is a new cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent with a novel mechanism of action. Single-agent paclitaxel studies have shown promising activity in both small cell and non-small cell lung cancers. In non-small cell lung cancer, response rates of 22% to 26% and 1-year survival rates of 40% were reported with both 3-hour and 24-hour infusions of paclitaxel. In small cell lung cancer, 24-hour infusions produced response rates of 61%. These data indicate that paclitaxel is one of the most active agents for all lung cancer patients. Combination studies demonstrated that paclitaxel could be combined with either cisplatin or carboplatin at full doses using either a 3-hour or a 24-hour infusion schedule. Response rates with these combinations have been high, usually 40% to 50%, which are higher than with any of the drugs used alone. Neutropenia is the most frequent toxicity and occurs less frequently with the 3-hour infusion. Thrombocytopenia occurred less frequently than expected. One completed randomized study showed that the paclitaxel/cisplatin regimen was superior to the etoposide/cisplatin regimen with respect to response rate and survival. Additional randomized studies are necessary to determine whether the combinations are superior to single-agent paclitaxel, to define the optimal dose with the 3-hour infusion schedule, to define the optimal schedule (3 hours v 24 hours), and to determine whether paclitaxel can be combined with other new agents.

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