Purpose: A phase II trial combining cisplatin, carboplatin and etoposide was conducted in previously untreated patients with stage IIIB and IV small-cell lung cancer, in an attempt to increase response rates and prolong survival. Methods: Previously untreated patients with small-cell lung cancer, with measurable disease, aged ≤72 years, performance status ≤2, and adequate hematologic, hepatic and renal function were enrolled in the study. They were treated with 80 mg/m2 cisplatin on day 1, 100 mg/m2 carboplatin on days 2, 3 and 8, and 50 mg/m2 etoposide on days 1, 2, 3 and 8. Results: A total of 46 patients (20 with stage IIIB and 26 with stage IV disease) were enrolled in the study. A total of 186 courses of chemotherapy were given, and the dose was reduced in 27 courses (15%). The chemotherapy was repeated for four or more courses in 30 patients. There were 10 complete responses and 32 partial responses, for a total response rate of 91% (95% confidence interval, 79% to 98%). The median survival time and 2-year survival rates were 18 months and 22% for stage IIIB disease, and 14 months and 15% for stage IV disease. Major side effects were hematologic: leukopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia of grade 3 or more occurred in 48%, 46%, and 43% of patients, respectively. Conclusions: The three-drug regimen of cisplatin, carboplatin and etoposide is feasible and active against small-cell lung cancer.
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