Induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiation for patients with non-operable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer.
Iranzo V., Bremnes RM., Almendros P., Gavilá J., Blasco A., Sirera R., Camps C.
Combined modality treatment with chemotherapy (CT) and radiotherapy (RT) in stage III non-small-cell lung cancer is considered as standard therapy. As concomitant CT appears to be beneficial, the choice of anticancer agents and the role of induction chemotherapy is still unresolved. We present our experience based on an induction CT scheme with carboplatin plus paclitaxel followed by RT and concomitant CT. 31 patients with non-operable stage IIIA or IIIB NSCLC without pleural effusion were included in this study: 30 males, 1 female; median age 66 years (range: 50-81); 32% with non-operable stage IIIA and 68% with stage IIIB without pleural effusion; 61% squamous cell carcinoma, 32% adenocarcinoma and 7% other histologies. Regarding performance status (PS), 9.7% PS 0 and 90% PS 1 were included. Patients received 3 courses of induction CT with carboplatin AUC=6 and paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2), administrated i.v. on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, followed by thoracic irradiation (total dose 60-65 Gy, daily fractions 1.8-2 Gy) with two concurrent courses of carboplatin/paclitaxel. 16.2% of the patients achieved complete response, 48.4% partial response, 25.8% stable disease and 9.6% progression of disease. Median progression-free and overall survival was 12 and 18 months, respectively. The most frequent haematological toxicities were grade (G) 3 anaemia in 19.3%, G3 neutropenia in 9.6% and G4 neutropenia in 12.9%. Esophageal G2 toxicity (RTOG) was observed in 28.1% of cases. The induction CT followed by concomitant chemoradiation used in this study appears feasible, safe and effective when administered to an unselected inoperable NSCLC stage III patient cohort in the everyday routine clinical practice. Further, our results are comparable to previously published phase III studies.