Medline: 8708726

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 14(8): 2337-2344, 1996. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 14(8): 2337-2344, 1996. may be available online for subscribers.

Randomized trial comparing induction chemotherapy versus induction chemotherapy followed by maintenance chemotherapy in small-cell lung cancer.

Sculier JP, Paesmans M, Bureau G, et al.



The European Lung Cancer Working Party (ELCWP) performed a randomized trial with the primary end point to determine if maintenance chemotherapy with 12 courses of etoposide (120 mg/m2 on days 1 and 3) and vindesine (3 mg/m2 on day 3) could improve progression-free survival in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients who responded to six courses of induction chemotherapy with ifosfamide, etoposide, and an anthracycline (doxorubicin or epirubicin).

Among 235 eligible patients initially registered, 91 were randomized to receive maintenance therapy, including seven patients who were no longer responding. Among 84 randomized responders, progression-free survival was significantly improved (P = .003) by maintenance therapy, with median durations (maintenance v follow-up) of 25 versus 12 weeks after the second randomization, but survival was not significantly increased (P = .10), with median durations of 48 and 38 weeks. However, in a multi-variate analysis that took into account disease extent, maintenance therapy, Karnofsky performance status (PS), and absolute dose-intensity (ADI) of anthracycline given during induction, limited disease (LD) and maintenance were found to be independent positive predictors of survival.

We conclude that maintenance chemotherapy in responding patients is beneficial in SCLC.

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