Purpose: Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is the standard treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Paclitaxel is an active agent against NSCLC and it has a radiosensitizing effect. We investigated the efficacy and toxicity of weekly paclitaxel administration along with concurrent radiotherapy for treating locally advanced and locally recurrent NSCLC.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-five previously untreated stage III or locally recurrent NSCLC patients received weekly paclitaxel (60 mg/m2) and concurrent radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was given on days 1, 8, 15 and 22. Concurrent radiotherapy at 1.5 Gy was given twice a day to a total dose of 54 Gy in 3.5 weeks. After the completion of CCRT, consolidation chemotherapy was delivered if possible.
Results: The overall response rate was 72% with one complete response and 17 partial responses. The median overall survival was 16 months with a 2 year survival rate and a 5 year survival rate of 38% and 24%, respectively. The rate of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis was 16% (4 patients) and 2 patients were died from the pneumonitis. The rate of grade 3 radiation esophagitis was 12% (3 patients) and the hematologic toxicities were not significant.
Conclusion: Weekly paclitaxel with concurrent radiotherapy is effective for treating locally advanced and locally recurrent NSCLC, but radiation pneumonitis is the major toxicity and this is potentially fatal.
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