Background: To test the hypothesis that the cytoprotectant amifostine attenuates the thrombocytopenia produced by carboplatin, the authors performed a randomized trial comparing treatment with carboplatin alone versus the combination of amifostine and carboplatin.
Methods: Patients with refractory or carboplatin-sensitive malignancies were randomized to receive either carboplatin, 500 mg/m2 alone or carboplatin, 500 mg/m2 in conjunction with 2 doses of amifostine of 910 mg/m2 each.
Results: Fifty-five patients with a variety of malignancies were entered on this study. One patient withdrew from each arm prior to the administration of any therapy, leaving 30 evaluable patients treated with carboplatin alone and 23 treated with the combination of amifostine and carboplatin. For 82 cycles of therapy with amifostine plus carboplatin, the median platelet nadir was 127 x 10(9)/L while the median platelet nadir was 88 x 10(9)/L over the 80 courses of therapy with carboplatin alone (P = 0.023). The median platelet nadir after the first cycle of therapy was 144 x 10(9)/L for patients treated with amifostine plus carboplatin and 85 x 10(9)/L for patients treated with carboplatin alone (P = 0.24). The median survival for 9 patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung carcinoma treated with carboplatin alone was 39 weeks whereas the median survival for 12 such patients treated with amifostine plus carboplatin was 52 weeks (P = 0.116).
Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that amifostine attenuates the myelosuppression of carboplatin. Additional studies of amifostine in combination with carboplatin-containing chemotherapy regimens are warranted.