Treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the elderly.
PURPOSE We conducted this study to evaluate the activity and toxicity of a combination regimen of paclitaxel plus carboplatin in patients with advanced NSCLC aged 65 years or older and/or in those with an ECOG performance status (PS) 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS Chemotherapy-naive patients with unresectable pathologically-proven NSCLC and of either age >or=65 or ECOG PS 2 were eligible. Patients received modified regimen with attenuated doses of paclitaxel (135 mg/m(2) i.v. for 3 h D1) and carboplatin (AUC=5, D1) every 3 weeks. RESULTS Thirty-five patients were enrolled. Nineteen patients were aged 65 or older (54%) and 26 patients (74%) were ECOG PS 2. The objective response rate was 40% with 14 partial responses. The median time to progression was 22 weeks. Grade 3 leucopenia occurred in 1 cycle and one case of neutropenic fever. CONCLUSIONS The modified regimen with attenuated doses of paclitaxel plus carboplatin combination chemotherapy was effective and well tolerated in patients with advanced NSCLC aged 65 years or older and/or in those with ECOG PS 2.