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Lung Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Chemotherapy. Commonwealth Cancer Center, Richmond, KY, United States

Survival: 8.3 months
Toxicity Grade: 5
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Drugs: Gemzar
Country: United States
City/State/Province: Richmond, KY
Hospital: Commonwealth Cancer Center
Journal: Link
Date: 2/2006

Patients: This Phase II study involved 44 patients (15 men, 29 women, median age 63) with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, of whom 36 completed the study. A subset of the 36 patients studied were also evaluated for efficacy of treatment.

Treatment: Treatment consisted of two chemotherapeutic agents: gemcitabine and carboplatin. In addition, a biological agent (aprinocarsen antisense oligonucleotide), which inhibits the activity of protein-kinase-C, was also used.

Toxicity: Two patients dies on study - one from pneumonia and one from sepsis (infection) and progressive disease. In addition, grade 3-4 toxicities included thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, anemia, leukopenia, pulmonary embolism, fatigue, and dyspnea.

Results: The median overall survival was 8.3 months. Nine patients achieved a partial response to treatment, and thirteen achieved stable disease. The authors concluded, "The addition of aprinocarsen to gemcitabine + carboplatin therapy in patients with NSCLC showed moderate activity. However, this combination resulted in severe thrombocytopenia in the majority of patients."

Support: Eli Lilly financially and technially supported this study, and several authors were employees, stockholders, and/or recipients of grant-funding or honoraria. Eli Lilly manufactures and markets gemcitabine. Additionally, Isis Corporation provided aprinocarsen used for this study.

Correspondence: William J. John, MD

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