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According to results recently presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the chemotherapy combination including Camptosar® (irinotecan) plus Paraplatin® (carboplatin) modestly improves survival compared to the standard VePesid® (etoposide)/Paraplatin® chemotherapy combination in the treatment of patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Europe. The two main types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non–small cell lung cancer. The distinction in lung cancer types often determines treatment options because each type responds differently to treatment. Small cell lung cancer accounts for approximately 25% of lung cancers and is considered to be very fast growing.

Extensive-stage SCLC refers to cancer that has spread from the lung to different sites in the body. Current treatment options for SCLC include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Approximately two-thirds of patients diagnosed with SCLC have extensive-stage SCLC; a standard chemotherapy regimen for these patients is VePesid plus Paraplatin. However, due to suboptimal long-term outcomes for patients with SCLC, researchers continue to evaluate alternative chemotherapy combinations to standard therapy.

Researchers conducted a multicenter clinical trial in Norway and Sweden to compare Camptosar/Paraplatin to VePesid/Paraplatin in the treatment of extensive-stage SCLC. This trial included 209 patients with extensive SCLC who had not received prior systemic (full body) therapy. Patients were treated with either Camptosar/Paraplatin or VePeside/Paraplatin and were directly compared.

  • At one year survival was 34% among patients treated with Camptosar/Paraplatin compared with 24% among patients treated with VePesid/Paraplatin.
  • Median survival was 8.5 months for patients treated with Camptosar/Paraplatin compared with 7.1 months for those treated with VePesid/Paraplatin.
  • Quality of life was not compromised with the switch to Camptosar.
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The researchers concluded that treatment with Camptosar/Paraplatin modestly improves survival compared with the standard VePesid/Paraplatin among patients with extensive-disease SCLC. However, further trials are necessary to confirm these findings and potentially alter treatment decisions for patients with SCLC.

Reference: Hermes A, et al. A randomized Phase III trial of irinotecan plus carbplatin versus etoposide plus carboplatin in patients with small cell lung cancer, extensive disease (SCLC-ED): IRIS-Study. Proceedings from the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Abstract #7523.

Related News:Camptosar®/Carboplatin Improves Progression-Free Survival over Etoposide/Carboplatin in Extensive Small-Cell Lung Cancer (04/21/2006)

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