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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Abstract

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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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