A combination of Gemzar® (gemcitabine) and Paraplatin® (carboplatin) is as effective as standard Platinol® (cisplatin) and VePesid® (etoposide) for palliative treatment of patients with poor-risk small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The Gemzar/Paraplatin combination is also less toxic, according to the results of a study published in an early online publication of Thorax on September 11, 2008.[1]

Small cell lung cancer accounts for approximately 10-15% of all lung cancers. SCLC is a very fast growing type of lung cancer, often spreading quickly to distant sites in the body. The standard regimen for treating patients with SCLC is Platinol and VePesid; however, research is ongoing in order to establish regimens that are potentially more effective and/or less toxic.

A multicenter clinical trial in the United Kingdom involved 241 patients with untreated, extensive SCLC who were randomly assigned to receive six, three-weekly cycles of either Gemzar and Paraplatin or Platinol and VePesid. The results indicated that the two regimens provided equivalent results: median survival was eight months in the Gemzar/Paraplatin group and 8.1 months in the Platinol/VePesid group; median progression-free survival was 5.9 months in the Gemzar/Paraplatin group and 6.3 months in the Platinol/VePesid group.

Although the outcomes from both regimens appeared to be equivalent, the group of patients receiving Gemzar/Paraplatin reported a higher quality of life. Nausea and hair loss were more frequent in the Platinol/VePesid group. Although grade 3-4 myelosuppresion (low blood counts) was more frequent in the Gemzar/Paraplatin group, it was not associated with increased hospital admissions, infections, or fatalities. Patients in the Gemzar/Paraplatin group received more chemotherapy as outpatients (89% versus 66% in the Platinol/VePesid group.) In quality-of-life questionnaires, more patients in the Platinol/VePesid group reported being upset by hair loss and impaired cognitive functioning.

Recommended Articles

Image placeholder title

Ask the Experts About Circulating Tumor DNA in the Management of Cancer

Ask the Experts About Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the Management of Cancer

Image placeholder title

Tisotumab Vedotin – Promising in Advanced Cervical Cancer

Novel precision cancer medicine promising for treatment of advanced ovarian cancer.

Image placeholder title

Checkpoint Inhibitor Immunotherapy for Treatment of Advanced Cervical Cancer

Checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy prolongs survival and delays recurrence in advanced cervical cancer.

These authors concluded, “Gemzar/Paraplatin is as effective as Platinol/VePesid in terms of overall survival and progression-free survival, and has a toxicity profile more acceptable to patients.”

Reference:

[1] Lee SM, James L, Qian W, et al. Comparison of gemcitabine and carboplatin versus cisplatin and etoposide for patients with poor-prognosis small cell lung cancer. Thorax [early online publication]. September 11, 2008.

Copyright Lung Cancer Information Center on CancerConsultants.com

Copyright © 2018 CancerConnect. All Rights Reserved.