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Prospective study of paclitaxel and irinotecan for elderly patients with unresectable non-small cell lung cancer
Fumihiro Oshita, Shuji Murakami, Tetsuro Kondo, Haruhiro Saito and Kouzo Yamada

We conducted a phase II study of combination chemotherapy with paclitaxel (Pac) and irinotecan (CPT) to determine the effects and toxicities in patients 70 years or older with unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Eligible patients were entered to receive three courses of Pac at 160 mg/m2 and CPT at 60 mg/m2 every 2-3 weeks. Twenty-one patients were registered. Thirteen patients were male and 8 were female, with a median age of 72 years (range: 70–82 years). Eight patients had a performance status (PS) of 0 and the other 13 patients had a PS of 1. Six and 15 patients were stage IIIB and stage IV, respectively. Ten patients received 3 to 6 cycles of the chemotherapy. Of the hematological toxicities, grade 4 neutropenia was observed in 23.8% of the patients. Of the non-hematological toxicities, grade 3 or 4 fatigue, anorexia and nausea were observed in 5, 3 and 4 patients, respectively. Three of 6 patients with infection developed grade 3 pneumonia. Grade 3 allergy with rash occurred in a patient. Cerebral infarction occurred in two patients and grade 3 peripheral neuropathy in one. The outcome of the Pac and CPT regimen in 21 patients was 8 PR, 10 SD and three PD, and the response rate was 38.1%. The median survival time was 9.1 months. The one- and 2-year survival rates were 38.1% and 19.0%, respectively. The Pac plus CPT regimen is feasible and active with moderate toxicity for elderly patients with NSCLC.

Keywords: Paclitaxel, irinotecan, lung cancer, elderly

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