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Lung Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Chemotherapy. University College Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Survival: 8.9 months
Toxicity Grade: 4
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Country: United Kingdom
City/State/Province: London
Hospital: University College Hospital
Journal: Link
Date: 11/2009

Patients: This phase 3 study involved 722 patients with stage IIIb or IV (advanced) non-small cell lung cancer. They ranged in age from 33 to 84 years of age. The majority (about 65%) were men.

Treatment: Patients were treated with the chemotherapy drugs gemcitabine and carboplatin. About half were also given thalidomide, a biological therapy, or placebo (a substance that looks like thalidomide but does not have any effect).

Toxicity: The risk of thrombolytic events (blood clots) was higher in the patients treated with thalidomide. Approximately 20% of patients receiving thalidomide had a thrombolytic event, and about 12.5% of those receiving placebo did. Most of these were pulmonary embolisms. The frequency of other grade 3 or 4 toxicities was similar between the treatment groups. The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicities were neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Other toxicities included anemia, leucopenia, constipation, rash, and infection.

Results: The median overall survival was 8.5 months for patients receiving thalidomide and 8.9 months for those receiving placebo.

Support: Funding for this study was provided by Eli Lilly. Thalidomide and placebo were provided free of charge by Pharmion Ltd.

Correspondence: Dr. Siow Ming Lee

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