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According to an article recently published in Clinical Lung Cancer, two administrations of lower-dose Paraplatin® (carboplatin) maintains long-term outcomes while decreasing severely low levels of platelets in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Non–small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States, accounting for approximately 75–80% of all lung cancers. “Non–small cell” refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated.

Paraplatin, a chemotherapy agent, is commonly used in the treatment of NSCLC. However, severely low levels of platelets, a condition referred to as thrombocytopenia that makes patients susceptible to bleeding, is a common side effect with Paraplatin.

Researchers from Germany recently conducted a clinical trial to compare two administrations of lower doses of Paraplatin (split-dose administration) with the usual single administration of a higher dose. The trial included 158 patients with advanced NSCLC who had not received prior therapies. Patients were treated with Paraplatin plus the chemotherapy agent Gemzar® (gemcitabine). One group of patients was treated with one dose of Paraplatin at the normal dose plus Gemzar, and one group received two doses of Paraplatin, each delivered at half the typical dose, plus Gemzar.

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  • Overall anticancer responses occurred in 46% of patients treated with single-dose Paraplatin and 36% of patients treated with split-dose Paraplatin.
  • Stabilization of cancer was achieved in 24% of patients treated with single-dose Paraplatin and 42% of patients treated with split-dose Paraplatin.
  • Progression-free survival was approximately six months for both groups of patients.
  • Overall survival was between 11 and 12 months for both groups of patients.
  • Severe thrombocytopenia occurred in 51% of patients treated with single-dose Paraplatin, compared with only 35% for those treated with split-dose Paraplatin.

The researchers concluded that administration of two lower doses of Paraplatin plus Gemzar significantly reduces severe thrombocytopenia while maintaining outcomes when compared to the standard single-dose of Paraplatin for the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

Reference: Schuette W, ABlankenburg, Schneider C-P, et al. Randomized, Multicenter, Open-Label Phase II Study of Gemcitabine Plus Single-Dose Versus Split-Dose Carboplatin in the Treatment of Patients with Advanced-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2006;8:135-139.

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