Purpose: Carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 5 ml/min on day 1 with gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m2on day 1 and day 8 is a widely used regimen in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia and neutropenia are frequent. The aim of this study is to investigate whether toxicity of gemcitabine/carboplatin could be reduced by administering carboplatin on day 8 instead of day 1 without a decrease in response rate (RR). Methods: Patients received gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m2on days 1 and 8, carboplatin AUC 5 on day 1 (arm A) or day 8 (arm B). Drugs were administered over a 21-day cycle. Toxicity and RR were evaluated weekly and every second cycle, respectively. Results: 71 patients were enrolled into the study. We found 79% (95% CI 61-91%) grade 3-4 toxicity (neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) in arm A and 50% (95% CI 32-68%) in arm B; 66% grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in arm A and 26% in arm B. We observed 30% grade 4 hematological toxicity in arm A and 3% in arm B. In arm A an overall RR of 20% (95% CI 7.7-38.6%) was seen, and 18.2% (95% CI 7-35.5%) in arm B. Conclusions: Although the study was prematurely closed, the current data are of interest. The schedule with carboplatin on day 8 is associated with substantially lower grade 3-4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia with comparable dose intensity and RR.

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Keywords Carboplatin, Chemotherapy, Gemcitabine, Non-small cell lung cancer, Toxicity
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1159/000315733, hdl.handle.net/1765/27580
Surmont, V, Aerts, J.G.J.V, van Klaveren, R.J, Tournoy, K, Tan, K.Y, Vernhout, R, … van Meerbeeck, J.P. (2010). A randomized phase II study comparing two schedules of the 21-day regimen of gemcitabine and carboplatin in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Oncology, 78(3-4), 267–270. doi:10.1159/000315733