Gemcitabine plus albumin-bound paclitaxel useful for treating advanced SQCLC
The combination of gemcitabine plus albumin-bound paclitaxel (ABP) appears to be well tolerated and effective in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancers (SQCLCs), according to the results of a phase II study.
Thirty-seven patients (median age, 70 years; 70 percent male) with chemotherapy-naïve stage IV SQCLC received weekly intravenous gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2) plus ABP (100 mg/m2) infusion in a 3-week on, 1-week off schedule during stage I and a 2-week on, 1-week off schedule in stage II of treatment.
Overall, 19 patients responded to treatment, corresponding to best objective response rate (ORR), the primary study endpoint, of 59 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 42–74). ORRs in stages I and II were 54 percent (7/13 responses) and 63 percent (12/19 responses), respectively. The overall disease control rate was 100 percent (18 partial responses, one complete response, 12 stable disease).
Median progression-free survival was 7.5 months (95 percent CI, 6.7–10.5), while median overall survival was 14.2 months (95 percent CI, 12.2–24.5).
There were no unexpected toxicities. Commonly reported adverse events (AEs) were fatigue (30 percent), peripheral oedema (11 percent), and dysgeusia, nail changes, lung infection, rash and peripheral neuropathy (8 percent each). Treatment-related severe AEs occurred in seven patients (19 percent), but none of them died.
The present data suggest that gemcitabine plus ABP is a reasonable alternative in SQCLC patients with contraindications to immune checkpoint inhibitor or platinum therapy, researchers said. Furthermore, the combination represents a promising chemotherapy backbone for future chemo-immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations.