Dose escalation study of carboplatin–pemetrexed followed by maintenance pemetrexed for elderly patients with advanced nonsquamous nonsmall-cell lung cancer

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Abstract

Background

This study was designed to determine the recommended dose of carboplatin–pemetrexed in elderly (≥75 years old), chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced nonsquamous nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Patients and methods

Patients received escalated doses of carboplatin and pemetrexed every 3 weeks for four cycles. Patients with an objective response and stable disease continued pemetrexed therapy until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity was observed.

Results

The combination of carboplatin at an area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) of 5, and 500 mg/m2 pemetrexed, was determined to be the recommended dose for elderly patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC. Of 17 patients, 10 received a median of five cycles of pemetrexed maintenance therapy without unexpected or cumulative toxic effects. The study had an overall response rate of 47.1%. The median progression-free survival time was 142 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 68–216 days) and the median overall survival time was 461 days (95% CI 168–754 days).

Conclusions

This combination was a tolerable and effective regimen, and recommended dose (RD) was carboplatin [area under the curve (AUC) of 5]/pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) every 3 weeks, in chemotherapy-naïve, elderly (≥75 years old) patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC.

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