Concurrent cisplatin, prolonged oral etoposide, and vincristine plus chest and brain irradiation for limited small cell lung cancer: A phase II study of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG-9229)

Charles R. Thomas, Dori J. Giroux, Keith J. Stelzer, Johnny B. Craig, Leslie R. Laufman, Sarah A. Taylor, John W. Goodwin, John J. Crowley, Robert B. Livingston

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10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The primary objectives of the study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of prolonged oral (PO) etoposide as part of cisplatin- based chemotherapy plus concurrent chest/brain irradiation induction, followed by CAV consolidation, in the treatment of patients with limited- stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC-LD) within a cooperative group setting. Methods and Materials: Fifty-six eligible patients with SCLC-LD received three 28-day cycles of cisplatin 50 mg/m2 i.v. (days 1, 8; 29, 36; and 57, 64), PO etoposide 50 mg/m2 (days 1-14, 29-42, and 57-70), and vincristine 2 mg i.v. (days 1, 29, and 57). Thoracic irradiation (TRT) was administered at 1.8 Gy in 25 daily fractions to a total dose of 45 Gy via an AP:PA arrangement, to begin concomitantly with induction chemotherapy. Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) was started on day 15 of induction therapy. Fifteen daily fractions of 2.0 Gy were administered to the entire brain to a total dose of 30 Gy to finish at approximately the same time as TRT. Two 21-day cycles of consolidation cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2 i.v., doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 i.v., and vincristine 2 mg i.v. (all on days 1 and 22), were given beginning on day 106 or week 16, from the start of induction therapy. Results: Among 56 eligible patients, 93% had SWOG performance status 0-1. All had adequate organ function and had not received prior therapy. The overall confirmed response rate was 46%, including 16% complete responders and 30% partial responders. After a minimum follow-up duration of 17 months, the Kaplan-Meier median progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 10 and 15 months, respectively. Two-year survival is 28%. Only 28 of 56 patients (50%) completed chemotherapy per protocol, while 52 of 56 patients (93%) completed radiation per protocol. Eleven patients (20%) discontinued secondary to toxicity and two patients died from treatment. The major toxicity was hematologic. The two deaths were secondary to infection. Of the nonhematologic toxicities, there were 10 cases of pulmonary fibrosis (including one Grade 3) and six cases of pneumonitis (including one Grade 3). Conclusion: Concomitant chemoradiation with oral etoposide as part of a platinum-based chemotherapy and TRT induction regimen is toxic. The CR rate is not better than our prior best group-wide experience. The progression- free and overall survival are similar to published trials utilizing short- course i.v. etoposide. As in chemotherapy for extensive-stage SCLC, there is no apparent advantage to prolonged exposure to etoposide, and toxicity resulted in an inferior therapeutic index compared to programs with shortened exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1047
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 1998


  • Chest and brain irradiation
  • Cisplatin
  • Oral etoposide
  • SCLC
  • Vincristine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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