Paclitaxel/carboplatin in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer

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Chemotherapeutic intervention in advanced and metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has changed over the past 2 decades. The improvements offered by cisplatin (Platinol)-based regimens, though significant in terms of survival and quality of life, were modest at best. Carboplatin (Paraplatin), which possesses a toxicity profile favorable to that of its parent analogue cisplatin, yielded survival rates superior to that of the cisplatin-combination chemotherapy arms in a large randomized study of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. With the introduction of taxanes in the early 1990s, paclitaxel (Taxol) demonstrated single-agent activity of 21% to 24%, with a 40% 1-year survival rate in metastatic disease. The next generation of phase I/II studies evaluated the efficacy of paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin. Results with this regimen have shown substantial promise, and 1-year survival rates as high as 54% have been reported. Full doses of both agents have been combined without any additional toxicity, and there appears to be a dose-response effect with paclitaxel. The combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin has been incorporated as the investigational arm of all the ongoing multicenter and cooperative group studies. While the results from these randomized studies are awaited, this combination has become the most widely used regimen is community practice for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. It is also being evaluated for treatment at earlier disease stages, in the setting of minimal tumor burden, and in combined-modality regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
Issue number1 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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