Feasibility and Preliminary Results of Intensive Chemotherapy and Extensive Irradiation in Selected Patients with Limited Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma: Results of Three Consecutive Phase II Programs
AbstractWe report the results of three consecutive programs combining initial intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the treatment of patients with limited small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The objective was to test the feasibility and the effect of high-dose chemotherapy and three thoracic irradiation programs on survival and patterns of relapse. Forty-two patients with limited SCLC were enrolled. All patients received high-dose chemotherapy (vindesine, etoposide, doxorubicin, cisplatin and cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide). In the SC 84 program, chest and brain radiotherapy was delivered during each course of chemotherapy, with a complementary irradiation after chemotherapy. In the SC 86 and SC 92 programs, patients received chemotherapy followed by thoracic irradiation and prophylactic brain and spinal axis radiotherapy. At the end of treatment, 40 patients (95%) were in complete response. During chemotherapy, high levels of toxicity were noted. All patients had grade IV hematological toxicities. The extra-hematological toxicities were digestive (grade III: 21%; grade IV: 7%) and hepatic (grades III and IV: 14%). During irradiation, patients presented digestive, pulmonary and hematological toxicities. Five patients developed late toxicities and a second malignancy was observed in 4 patients. The 2- and 5-year survival rates for all patients were 51% and 27%, respectively. Despite the marked toxicity of the initial intensive chemotherapy, the treatments are tolerable and effective in the control of extra-thoracic micrometastases, whereas they are less effective for thoracic primary tumor.