The results of a recent study published in Clinical Cancer Research indicate that chemotherapy treatment with Gemzar® plus Alimta® shows promise for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Europe. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer and is a malignancy that arises from the tissues of the lung. Under most circumstances, NSCLC is not curable. Current treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy with platinum-based chemotherapy is frequently used to treat NSCLC; however, it is associated with significant side effects, making treatment difficult for elderly or physically unfit patients.
In this study, 60 patients with non-operable NSCLC were treated intravenously with Gemzar® on days 1 and 8, along with Alimta® on day 8. Overall, 9 patients (15%) had a partial response, 29 patients (50%) had stable disease, and overall survival was 10 months. Overall survival at 1 year was 42% and at 2 years was 18%. Patients tolerated the treatment relatively well, with the most common side effects being low blood counts, fever, fatigue and changes in liver enzymes.
Researchers concluded that chemotherapy treatment with Gemzar® and Alimta® was a tolerable treatment with promising overall survival and extended survival rates. Further studies will be needed in the future and patients may wish to speak to their physician regarding treatment options and participation in clinical trials. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov) and www.cancerconsultants.com. Personalized clinical trial searches are also performed on behalf of patients by cancerconsultants.com.
Reference: Monnerat C, LeChavalier T, Kelly K. Phase II Study of Pemetrexed-Gemcitabine Combination in Patients With Advanced Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2004; 10: 5439-5446.