Paclitaxel, a tubulin-binding agent, is widely used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The combination of paclitaxel and a platinum compound is an approved regimen for the treatment of advanced NSCLC. The dose-limiting toxicity of paclitaxel is myelosuppression when administered on a prolonged infusion schedule, whereas neuropathy is more common with short infusions. Although the 3-weekly schedule of paclitaxel is the commonly utilised regimen for the treatment of advanced NSCLC, the weekly regimens appear to be associated with lesser myelosuppression and neuropathy. A randomised clinical trial is currently underway to compare the efficacy of the weekly versus 3-weekly regimen of paclitaxel, in combination with carboplatin for the treatment of advanced NSCLC. The radiosensitising effect of paclitaxel has led to its incorporation into multi-modality treatment of NSCLC patients in combination with thoracic radiation. Paclitaxel has also demonstrated synergistic interaction with several molecularly-targeted agents and is at present being evaluated in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment settings for early stage NSCL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)