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RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Phase III study comparing cisplatin plus gemcitabine with cisplatin plus pemetrexed in chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer

Giorgio Vittorio Scagliotti, Purvish Parikh, Joachim von Pawel, Bonne Biesma, Johan Vansteenkiste, Christian Manegold, Piotr Serwatowski, Ulrich Gatzemeier, Raghunadharao Digumarti, Mauro Zukin, Jin S Lee, Anders Mellemgaard, Keunchil Park, Shehkar Patil, Janusz Rolski, Tuncay Goksel, Filippo de Marinis, Lorinda Simms, Katherine P Sugarman, David Gandara
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2008 July 20, 26 (21): 3543-51
18506025

PURPOSE: Cisplatin plus gemcitabine is a standard regimen for first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Phase II studies of pemetrexed plus platinum compounds have also shown activity in this setting.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This noninferiority, phase III, randomized study compared the overall survival between treatment arms using a fixed margin method (hazard ratio [HR] < 1.176) in 1,725 chemotherapy-naive patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1. Patients received cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) on day 1 and gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 (n = 863) or cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) and pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) on day 1 (n = 862) every 3 weeks for up to six cycles.

RESULTS: Overall survival for cisplatin/pemetrexed was noninferior to cisplatin/gemcitabine (median survival, 10.3 v 10.3 months, respectively; HR = 0.94; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.05). Overall survival was statistically superior for cisplatin/pemetrexed versus cisplatin/gemcitabine in patients with adenocarcinoma (n = 847; 12.6 v 10.9 months, respectively) and large-cell carcinoma histology (n = 153; 10.4 v 6.7 months, respectively). In contrast, in patients with squamous cell histology, there was a significant improvement in survival with cisplatin/gemcitabine versus cisplatin/pemetrexed (n = 473; 10.8 v 9.4 months, respectively). For cisplatin/pemetrexed, rates of grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia (P <or= .001); febrile neutropenia (P = .002); and alopecia (P < .001) were significantly lower, whereas grade 3 or 4 nausea (P = .004) was more common.

CONCLUSION: In advanced NSCLC, cisplatin/pemetrexed provides similar efficacy with better tolerability and more convenient administration than cisplatin/gemcitabine. This is the first prospective phase III study in NSCLC to show survival differences based on histologic type.

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