The similar survival benefits of stable disease and partial response to pemetrexed in previously treated non-small cell carcinoma patients

Hye-Ryoun Kim, Min Soo Kang, Im Il Na, Sung Hyeon Yang, Yoon Hee Choi, Hye Jin Kang, Cheol Hyeon Kim, Jae Cheol Lee
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 2010, 136 (4): 547-52

PURPOSE: Pemetrexed is a recognized active agent for the second-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study was undertaken to evaluate the clinical benefits of pemetrexed and to identify patient characteristics that predict response to pemetrexed.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with histologically proven stage IIIB or IV NSCLC who were treated with pemetrexed after the failure of prior chemotherapy.

RESULTS: The objective response rate for the 99 enrolled patients was 13.1% and 22 patients achieved stable disease (SD)-a disease control rate of 35.4%. Progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) were 1.8 months (95% CI, 1.32-2.28) and 7.6 months (95% CI, 6.23-8.97), respectively. The patients who achieved SD and pemetrexed-responders showed similar OSs (14.6 vs. 14.8 months, P = 0.55). However, a squamous cell carcinoma histology showed no significant OS difference between those that achieved disease control or progression (8.1 vs. 5.6 months, P = 0.07). Subgroup analysis of OS revealed that histology and response to first-line therapy predicted response to pemetrexed.

CONCLUSIONS: Pemetrexed has comparable survival benefits in NSCLC patients that show objective response or stable disease.

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