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According to the results of a study presented at the 12th World Lung Cancer Conference, chemotherapy with Camptosar® (irinotecan) and Paraplatin® (carboplatin) may result in better survival than chemotherapy with VePesid® (etoposide) and Paraplatin among patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

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 and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 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. 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.

To compare chemotherapy with Camptosar and Paraplatin to chemotherapy with VePesid and Paraplatin, researchers in Europe conducted a Phase III clinical trial among 210 patients with extensive SCLC.

  • One-year survival was 35% among patients treated with Camptosar and Paraplatin compared with 28% among patients treated with VePesid and Paraplatin.
  • A complete response (a complete disappearance of detectable cancer) was observed in 18 patients treated with Camptosar and Paraplatin and seven patients treated with VePesid and Paraplatin.
  • Overall quality of life was similar in the two treatment groups.
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The researchers concluded that among patients with extensive SCLC, chemotherapy with Camptosar plus Paraplatin results in better survival, without compromising quality of life, than chemotherapy with VePesid and Paraplatin.

Reference: Hermes A, Bergman B, Bremmes R, et al. Treatment with irinotecan plus carboplatin prolongs survival without compromising quality of life in patients with small cell lung cancer, extensive disease (SCLC-ED). Results of a randomized phase III trial. Journal of Thoracic Surgery 2007;2:S390, abstract D1-03.

Related News:Camptosar®/Paraplatin® Improves Survival in Small Cell Lung Cancer (06/12/2007)

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