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Lung Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Chemotherapy. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, United States

Survival: 10.6 months
Toxicity Grade: 3
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Drugs: Paraplatin
Country: United States
City/State/Province: New York, NY
Hospital: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Journal: Link
Date: 9/2005

Patients: This Phase III study involved 1059 patients with advanced (stage IIIB/IV) non-small-cell lung cancer. None of the patients had been treated. The patients were randomly assigned into two groups. Group A had 526 patients (332 men, 207 women, mean age of 62.6 years).

Treatment: Group A received one biologic agent (erlotinib) with chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel).

Toxicity: Thirty-three of 322 deaths in group A were attributed to an adverse event. In addition, grade 3-4 toxicities included neutropenia, diarrhea, anemia, dyspnea, thrombocytopenia, rash, and fatigue.

Results: For Group A (erlotinib), the median overall survival was 10.6 months, while for Group B (placebo), it was 10.5 months. To the authors surprise, "There was no improvement in survival, time to progression, or response rate compared with chemotherapy given alone. These clinical results contrast with preclinical studies, suggesting additive effects of combining erlotinib and paclitaxel and a platinum."

Support: Genentech provided financial support for this study, and several authors are employees, consultants, or honoraria recipients. Genentech manufactures and/or markets erlotinib.

Correspondence: Vincent A. Miller, MD

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