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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-69

Weekly paclitaxel as metronomic palliative chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer

Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Kumar Prabhash
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.181643

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Background: Topotecan is the standard second line agent used in relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, the erratic availability and the cost of the drug has been a prohibitive factor for its use in second-line setting in India. Paclitaxel has shown antitumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with SCLC. Hence, this audit was performed to study the efficacy of weekly paclitaxel as a form of metronomic therapy in the second-line setting in SCLC. Materials and Methods: Fifty-seven patients of relapsed SCLC who presented to the thoracic medical oncology unit of Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai between January 2011 and December 2015 were selected for this analysis. Weekly paclitaxel at a dose of 80 mg/m 2 was administered until progression or development of intolerable side effects or patient refusal. Data regarding baseline demographics, previous treatment history, response rate, progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), and toxicity to weekly paclitaxel was extracted from a prospectively maintained database in the thoracic medical oncology unit and was analyzed using SPSS version 16 (IBM, New York, USA). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed. Results: Median age of the cohort was 58 years (40-77 years). Etoposide with carboplatin was the regimen used in 40 patients (70.2%) whereas the remaining 17 patients received etoposide with cisplatin (29.8%). Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status at relapse was 1 in 3 (5.3%), 2 in 49 (86.0%), and 3 in 5 (8.7%) patients. The response rate and clinical benefit rate were 9.1% (5 patients) and 52.7% (29 patients), respectively. Grade 3-4 toxicities were seen in 10.5% (6 patients). The median PFS was 145 days (95% confidence interval [CI]: 116.6-173.5 days) whereas the median OS was 168 days (95% CI: 112.5-223.5 days). Conclusion: Weekly paclitaxel as a second line agent in relapsed small cell cancer of the lung is a feasible and well-tolerated agent.

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