Purpose Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is increasingly diagnosed in elderly patients, who are at increased risk of treatment-related morbidity and mortality. We conducted a single-arm phase II study to assess the activity and safety of attenuated doses of carboplatin and etoposide in patients with extensive stage (ES) SCLC and an ECOG performance score of 2-3 or age $ 70 years.
Patients and Methods ES-SCLC patients older than 70 years of age or with ECOG PS of 2-3 were enrolled to receive up to 6 courses of carboplatin AUC 4 on day 1 and etoposide 60 mg/m2 /day on days 1-3 every 3 weeks. Primary end points were response rate and survival and the secondary end point was toxicity. Response was assessed after completion of 2 cycles and after completion of all chemotherapy.
Results So far 14 patients have been enrolled. Median number of cycles delivered was 5 (range 1-6). Five (38%) patients completed all 6 cycles. Response rate was 69% with 1-year survival probability of 30% and median survival of 10 months. Treatment was well tolerated with neutropenia being the most common toxicity (45% grade 3 or 4).
Conclusion In elderly and medically infirmed patients with ES-SCLC, an attenuated regimen of carboplatin and etoposide is active with a favorable toxicity profile. Accrual to this study continues.