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According to results presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the chemotherapy combination consisting of Platinol® (cisplatin) plus Navelbine® (vinorelbine) improves survival among non–small cell lung cancer patients whose cancer is surgically removed.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Death rates are largely due to the fact that the majority of lung cancers are not detected until they have spread from their site of origin. Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprises the majority of lung cancers. “Non–small cell” refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated.

Standard treatment for patients with lung cancer that has not spread outside of the lungs except to nearby lymph nodes typically consists of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy. Optimal therapeutic regimens for different stages of NSCLC, as well as for patients with differing characteristics, continue to be evaluated.

Adjuvant chemotherapy refers to chemotherapy administered following surgery. Adjuvant chemotherapy is intended to kill any remaining cancer cells in the body, even those that may be undetectable following surgery. Adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with early NSCLC has become generally accepted as a treatment strategy in the United States. However, trials have not consistently demonstrated improved survival with this treatment approach.

The current study was a meta-analysis of data including nearly 1,888 patients with early lung cancer who had enrolled in four different clinical trials. Participants had had their cancer completely removed by surgery. Patients were then treated with either adjuvant Platinol/Navelbine or no chemotherapy following surgery.

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  • At five years, 55% of patients who were treated with chemotherapy were alive, compared with only 46% of patients who received no further treatment.
  • The patients benefiting most from chemotherapy were those with more advanced disease (Stages II-III).

The researchers concluded that adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of Platinol/Navelbine significantly improves survival at five years among patients with NSCLC who are able to have their cancer completely surgically removed. Patients with early NSCLC should speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of all treatment options.

Reference: Douillard J-Y, et al. Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation (Lace Vinorelbine Project): Pooled Analysis Of Adjuvant Vinorelbine-Cisplatin Trials For Completely Resected Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Presented at the 2006 annual European Society for Medical Oncology. Abstract #7100.

Related News:Navelbine®/Platinol® Improves Survival in Some Patients with Early Lung Cancer(8/22/2006)

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