According to an article recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, adding twice-daily radiation to the chemotherapy combination consisting of Camptosar® (irinotecan) plus Platinol® (cisplatin) following VePesid® (etoposide) plus Platinol provides anticancer activity in limited-disease small cell lung cancer.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) comprises approximately 25% of all lung cancers in the United States. “Small cell “refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated. Limited-disease small cell lung cancer (LD-SCLC) refers to cancer that has not spread from the lung. Standard treatment for LD-SCLC typically includes surgery (if possible), chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

SCLC is an aggressive form of cancer. With current treatment options, long-term survival for this disease remains suboptimal. Researchers continue to evaluate novel therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for these patients.

Researchers from Japan recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate a treatment combination consisting of VePesid plus Platinol (EP) in addition to radiation therapy administered twice a day followed by additional therapy consisting of Camptosar plus Platinol. This trial included 49 patients with LD-SCLC.

  • Anticancer response rates were achieved in 88% of patients.
  • A complete disappearance of cancer was achieved in 41% of patients.
  • At two years nearly half of the patients were still alive.
  • At three years nearly 30% of patients were still alive.
  • The major side effects were low levels of immune cells, infection, diarrhea, and electrolyte imbalances.

The researchers concluded that EP plus twice-daily radiation therapy followed by IP is an active regimen in LD-SCLC and warrants further evaluation in clinical trials. Patients with LD-SCLC may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial further evaluating this or other novel therapeutic options. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) and www.cancerconsultants.com.

Reference: Saito H, Takada Y, Ichinose Y, et al. Phase II Study of Etoposide and Cisplatin With Concurrent Twice-Daily Thoracic Radiotherapy Followed by Irinotecan and Cisplatin in Patients With Limited-Disease Small-Cell Lung Cancer: West Japan Thoracic Oncology Group 9902. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24:5247-5252.

Related News:Concurrent Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer (3/16/2006)

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