Second-line, low-dose, weekly paclitaxel in patients with stage IIIB/IV nonsmall cell lung carcinoma who fail first-line chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel.
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Second-line chemotherapy with docetaxel improves survival and quality of life (QoL) in patients with nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) who fail first-line platinum-based regimens. The authors sought to determine the activity of second-line, low-dose, weekly paclitaxel in patients with NSCLC who failed first-line chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel.Patients with Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC who had received first-line carboplatin/paclitaxel were treated with low-dose (80 mg/m(2)), weekly paclitaxel at the time of disease progression. Response rates, QoL, and survival were outcome end points.Sixty-two patients were included in this analysis. The median age was 62 years (range, 32-76 years), 55% of patients were male, 89% of patients had Stage IV NSCLC, and the Karnofsky performance status was 90-100% in 31% of patients, 70-80% in 55% of patients, and 60% in 14% of patients. Twenty-six percent of patients experienced disease progression as their best response to first-line carboplatin plus paclitaxel, whereas 52% of patients had stable disease, and 23% of patients had achieved a response. The median time from first-line carboplatin plus paclitaxel to second-line, low-dose, weekly paclitaxel was 9.5 weeks (range, 1-78 weeks). The toxicity profile was extremely favorable, with no Grade 4 toxicity and < 10% Grade 3 hematologic or nonhematologic toxicity in all patients with the exception of neuropathy. Ten percent of patients experienced both Grade 2 and Grade 3 neuropathy. The overall objective response rate was 8%. The median survival was 5.2 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI], 3.6-6.2 months), and the 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 20% (95%CI, 10-30%) and 9% (95%CI, 1-16%), respectively.Second-line, low-dose, weekly paclitaxel had activity in selected patients with Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC who failed first-line chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel. The toxicity profile of this approach is extremely favorable, and outcome expectations are similar to the outcome expectations with other single agents in this setting.Copyright 2002 American Cancer Society.