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Study compares three weekly regimens of chemotherapy for lung cancer

PITTSBURGH, July 31 According to findings published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, weekly regimens of paclitaxel in combination with full doses of carboplatin is reasonably well tolerated and the efficacy results appear promising. The study, led by Chandra P. Belani, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh and co-director, Lung Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), compared three regimens of weekly paclitaxel plus carboplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and found that higher weekly doses of paclitaxel in combination therapy for lung cancer did not result in an added benefit for patients and caused a higher incidence of adverse side effects.

"Our study demonstrates that both agents can be administered with ease and without substantial toxicity when weekly paclitaxel is combined with full doses of carboplatin administered on day one of each cycle with few side effects," said Dr. Belani. "Administration of a higher weekly dose of paclitaxel did not improve survival and was more likely to cause toxic effects from treatment. This is a major concern for lung cancer patients with advanced disease given that the primary goal of therapy is to improve survival, reduce symptoms and to improve the patient's quality of life."

The purpose of the study was to explore the efficacy and safety of three regimens of weekly paclitaxel plus carboplatin. The study included 401 patients with stage III and IV NSCLC from 47 community and academic sites in the United States. Patients were randomly assigned into one of three groups. The first group received 100mg/m2 of paclitaxel weekly for three of four weeks with carboplatin on day one. The second group received 100mg/m2 of paciltaxel and carboplatin weekly for three of four weeks. The third and final group received 150mg/m2 to 100mg/m2 of paclitaxel and carboplatin weekly for six of eight weeks.

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Contact: Clare Collins
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
31-Jul-2003


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