Takayama K, et al. Oncologist 2020.
LESSONS LEARNED: The usefulness of maintenance gemcitabine (GEM) after biweekly carboplatin + GEM in elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer could not be proved. Superior overall survival was obtained in the group that did not receive maintenance therapy.
BACKGROUND: The primary objective of this randomized phase II study was to assess progression-free survival (PFS) in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with gemcitabine (GEM) maintenance therapy versus best supportive care following first-line GEM plus carboplatin (CBDCA).
METHODS: Elderly chemotherapy-naive patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC were randomly assigned 1:1 to the control arm or the study arm. All patients received biweekly combination therapy with GEM and CBDCA (1,000 mg/m2 GEM and CBDCA at an area under the curve [AUC] of 3 on days 1 and 15, every 4 weeks). In the study arm, patients with objective response or stable disease following three or four cycles of initial chemotherapy received maintenance GEM.
RESULTS: Eighty-four patients were enrolled. The objective response rates (ORRs) were 17.5% in the control arm and 14.0% in the study arm. The most common toxicity was neutropenia (control arm: 47.5% and study arm: 69.8%). The median progression-free survivals were 4.99 months (control arm) and 4.44 months (study arm), and the median overall survivals (OSs) were 21.7 months (control arm) and 8.2 months (study arm).
CONCLUSION: Our data do not support maintenance GEM after biweekly CBDCA+GEM in elderly patients with NSCLC.