Phase II study of paclitaxel in patients with extensive-disease small- cell lung cancer: An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study

David S. Ettinger, Dianne M. Finkelstein, Ravi P. Sarma, David H. Johnson

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171 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of paclitaxel (Taxol; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Princeton, NJ), a novel diterpene plant product in the treatment of previously untreated patients with extensive-disease small- cell lung cancer (SCLC). Patients and Methods: Patients with extensive- disease SCLC received paclitaxel 250 mg/m2 intravenously over 24 hours every 3 weeks. Nonresponders or partial responders, who received the maximum number of cycles (n = 4) of paclitaxel received salvage chemotherapy that consisted of etoposide (VP-16) 120 mg/m2 intravenously over 45 minutes on days 1, 2, and 3, and cisplatin 60 mg/m2 intravenously as a short infusion on day 1. Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks. Results: Of 36 patients entered onto the study, 34 and 32 patients were assessable far toxicity and response, respectively. No complete responses (CRs) were observed. Eleven patients (34%) had a partial response (PR) and six (19%) had stable disease (SD). In three of six patients categorized as having SD, there was greater than 50% tumor shrinkage. However, no 4-week follow-up measurements were made, so these could not be considered PRs, in part because patients received salvage chemotherapy by study design. In this trial, induction and salvage chemotherapy resulted in a response CRs and 15 PRs) (53%) in 17 patients. The estimated median survival duration was 43 weeks. Dose-limiting toxicity was leukopenia, with 19 patients (56%) having grade 4 leukopenia. The numbers of patients who experienced other grade 4 toxicities were as follows: pulmonary, three (9%); liver, two (6%); cardiac, one (3%); thrombocytopenia, one (3%); metabolic, one (3%); stomatitis, one (3%); and allergic reaction, one (3%). Four additional patients had grade 3 leukopenia and one patient (3%) died of sepsis (grade 5 toxicity). Conclusion: Paclitaxel is an active new agent in the treatment of SCLC. Further investigation of this agent in combination with other active agents is appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1435
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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