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According to the results of a phase II clinical trial presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the combination of Abraxane™ (albumin-bound paclitaxel) and Paraplatin® (carboplatin) is tolerable and active in the treatment of newly-diagnosed advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 75%-80% of all lung cancers. Patients with advanced NSCLC are treated with chemotherapy to alleviate the symptoms of their disease and prolong their duration of survival.

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug commonly used in the treatment of several types of cancer, including NSCLC. Abraxane is a newer form of paclitaxel that is bound with albumin, a type of protein normally found in the human body. This form of paclitaxel delivers high concentrations of the active ingredient into the cancer cells with reduced incidence of side effects compared to the original form of the drug.

Abraxane is currently approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer that has not responded to combination chemotherapy or breast cancer that has relapsed within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy (prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated). Abraxane is also being evaluated in the treatment of several other types of cancer.

To evaluate the combination of Abraxane and Paraplatin in the treatment of newly-diagnosed advanced NSCLC, researchers conducted a phase II clinical trial among 56 previously untreated patients with stage IIIB or stage IV NSCLC. Patients were treated with Abraxane followed by Paraplatin administered by 30-minute infusions on a 28-day cycle. Abraxane was given on days one, eight, and 15, and Paraplatin was given on day one.

Fifty patients were evaluable; 38 of these had stage IV disease. The median number of cycles per patient was five. Median time to progression was 28 weeks.

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Half of the patients who were treated with Abraxane and Paraplatin experienced a complete or partial anticancer response. Neutropenia, or low white blood cell count, was the most common side effect of treatment.

The researchers conclude that the combination of Abraxane and Paraplatin is tolerable and active in the treatment of advanced, newly-diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer. They note that these results compare favorably to previously reported results for the conventional form of paclitaxel plus Paraplatin.

Abraxane continues to be evaluated in the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

Reference: Allerton JP, Hagenstad CT, Webb TR, et al. A Phase II Evaluation of the Combination of 130-Nanometer Albumin-bound Paclitaxel and Carboplatin in the First-line Treatment of Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Atlanta, Georgia. 2006. Abstract # 7127.

Related News:Abraxane™ for Initial Treatment of Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (11/4/2005)

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