Outcomes treating stage III non-small cell lung carcinoma with curative-intent radiotherapy and concurrent carboplatin-paclitaxel chemotherapy

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Background and Aim:

Thoracic radiotherapy administered concurrently with chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with inoperable stage III non-small cell lung cancer, but the optimal chemotherapy regimen is not clearly established. The objective of this study was to assess outcomes in a large cohort of patients treated with curative-intent using carboplatin and paclitaxel.


Consecutive patients undergoing curative-intent radiotherapy to 60–66 Gy in 30–33 daily fractions with concurrent weekly carboplatin (AUC = 2) and paclitaxel (45 mg/m2/week) between March 2004 and May 2012 were identified from a prospective database and reviewed individually. A minimum follow-up of 3 months was required unless death occurred sooner. Response to treatment was defined according to established guidelines on re-staging computed tomography scan at 3 months. Toxicities were assessed using a standardised scoring system.


One hundred and seven patients were analysed. The median follow-up was 43.5 months. Three months after treatment, a complete or partial response was observed in 72 patients (68%), and nine patients (8%) had already died. The overall locoregional failure rate was 47%, and failure eventually occurred at any site in 75 patients (70%). Median progression-free survival, and median survival were 15 and 22 months, respectively. Grade 3–4 neutropaenia, thrombocytopaenia, nephrotoxicity, oesophagitis and pneumonitis were observed in 15%, 1%, 3%, 11% and 9% of patients during treatment, respectively. There was one episode of fatal radiation pneumonitis.


Treatment with thoracic radiotherapy and concurrent carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy is feasible. Survival and toxicity outcomes compare favorably to those reported using cisplatin-based regimens.

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