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Lung Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Chemotherapy. Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Australia

Survival: 11.3 months
Toxicity Grade: 5
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Country: Australia
City/State/Province: Vienna
Hospital: Medical University of Vienna
Journal: Link
Date: 5/2009

Patients: This phase 3 study involved 1,125 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. They ranged in age from 18 to 83 years old. There were 490 men and 335 women in this study.

Treatment: Patients were treated with the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and vinorelbine and the biological therapy cetuximab, or with chemotherapy only.

Toxicity: Twenty-five patients out of 1,125 (about 2%) died from treatment-related causes. In the group treated with chemotherapy and biological therapy, grade 4 toxicities were neutropenia (reported in 38%), leucopenia, febrile neutropenia, anemia, dyspnea, fatigue, vomiting, pulmonary embolism, sepsis, heart symptoms, diarrhea, and reactions to the infusion. In the group treated with chemotherapy alone, the frequency of grade 4 neutropenia and febrile neutropenia was similar to that in the other group. There were no grade 4 infusion-related reactions and less frequent reports of grade 4 leucopenia.

Results: The median overall survival was 11.3 months for the group treated with chemotherapy and biological therapy. For the group treated with chemotherapy alone, the median overall survival was 10.1 months

Support: This study was supported with research funds from Merck, which developed cetuximab and markets it as Erbitux.

Correspondence: Dr. Robert Pirker

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