In advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), monotherapy with gemcitabine improves quality of life when compared to best supportive care alone, while single-agent taxanes and vinorelbine also improve survival. Platinum-based combinations achieve benefits in response rate, time to progression and survival compared to single-agent cisplatin. With the introduction of combinations of newer agents, 2-year survival rates of 10-20% are being seen in co-operative group trials. Until recently, the various doublets that have been subjected to randomized comparison appear to have achieved similar rates of response and survival, though toxicities differ considerably depending on the choice of drugs used. However, study TAX 326, the largest trial yet conducted in advanced NSCLC, has now demonstrated that the combination of docetaxel with cisplatin is superior to that of vinorelbine and cisplatin. Controlled trials of platinum-containing vs. non-platinum combinations have yet to demonstrate any superiority of one over the other. Hopes for further improvement in survival are focused on the combination of cytotoxic agents with novel molecularly-targeted drugs such as the anti-angiogenics and EGFR inhibitors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research