A Prospective Phase II Study of Cisplatin and Cremophor EL-Free Paclitaxel (Genexol-PM) in Patients with Unresectable Thymic Epithelial Tumors

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We conducted a prospective phase II study of cisplatin plus cremophor EL-free paclitaxel (Genexol-PM) in patients with unresectable thymic epithelial tumors to determine the efficacy and tolerability of the combination therapy.


Patients were treated with cisplatin (70 mg/m2) and Genexol-PM (230 mg/m2) on day 1 of a 3-week cycle as first-line palliative chemotherapy. The primary end point of this study was objective response rate, and the secondary end points included toxicity, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, correlation between early 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography response and PFS, and correlation between baseline flurododeoxyglucose uptake and histology.


Forty-two patients with unresectable thymoma (n = 14) or thymic carcinoma (n = 28) were enrolled between May 2012 and October 2014. The median age was 59 years (range: 25–77) and 30 patients (71%) were male, and 39 patients (93%) had an ECOG PS of 1. The median number of treatment cycles was six (range: 1–6). For 40 assessable patients, the objective response rate was 62.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 47.6–77.4) with rates of 46% (95% CI: 23.3–76.9) for advanced thymoma (n = 13) and 70% (95% CI: 52.0–82.1) for thymic carcinoma (n = 27). With a median follow-up of 15.5 months, the median PFS for all 42 patients was 9.8 months (11.4 months for thymoma versus 8.1 months for thymic carcinoma). The 2-year overall survival was 77.9% for thymoma and 65.9% for thymic carcinoma. There were no treatment-related deaths. The most common grade 3 and 4 treatment-related adverse event was neutropenia in 11 patients (26%). Eight patients (19%) experienced grade 2 hypersensitivity reactions. There was no correlation between early positron emission tomography response and PFS, but tumor histology (thymoma versus thymic carcinoma) was correlated with SUVmax before chemotherapy.


These data suggest that combination of cisplatin and Genexol-PM is highly effective and tolerable for the treatment of unresectable thymic epithelial tumors.

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