Gemcitabine plus docetaxel as first-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a lung cancer Galician group phase II study.
- PubMed: 17273825
BACKGROUND: Numerous phase II and III clinical trials have demonstrated a higher activity of combined gemcitabine plus docetaxel schedules against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) than that of both agents in monotherapy. METHODS: This phase II study evaluated a 3-week based schedule of docetaxel 85 mg/m(2) (1-h i.v. infusion, d8) combined with gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) (30-min i.v. infusion; d1,8) as first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced NSCLC. RESULTS: Forty-one patients with non-resectable, stage IIIB/IV, and bidimensionally measurable disease were enrolled. A total of 182 chemotherapy cycles (median 6, range 1-6) was administered to 40 patients during the study; one patient did not receive chemotherapy due to a protocol deviation. Two patients were not evaluable for treatment efficacy. The overall response rate found was 44% (95% CI, 29-59%): three patients (7%) had a complete response and 15 patients (37%) had a partial response (median duration of response = 4.0 months). With a median follow-up of 8.7 months, the median time to disease progression was 4.4 months and the median overall survival was 7.3 months. The combined gemcitabine plus docetaxel chemotherapy was well tolerated except for pulmonary toxicity. The main grade 3-4 hematological toxicity was neutropenia (28% of patients, 9% of cycles). Two cases of febrile neutropenia were reported. The main grade 3-4 non-hematological toxicity was pulmonary toxicity (23% of patients, 6% of cycles). CONCLUSION: Gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 in combination with docetaxel 85 mg/m(2) on day 8 given in 3-week cycles is an active and well-tolerated first-line chemotherapeutic regimen for advanced NSCLC.