Another Option in the Second Line Treatment of Patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

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Docetaxel(Taxotere) has long been considered the standard of care for second-line treatment of advanced NSCLC.  However, the disadvantage of using this agent include the need to administer it with corticosteroid premedication and its toxicity profile

A new study published in the March 29 version of the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicated that vinflunine(Javlor) was as efficacious as docetaxel in treating patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  Even though vinflunine had higher rates of certain side effects, the drug’s overall toxicity profile was manageable.

The study randomized 551 patients with stage III/IV NSCLC who had progressive disease after first-line therapy with a platinum-containing regimen to receive either vinflunine or docetaxel until disease progression or toxicity.

Median progression-free survival was 2.3 months in both the vinflunine and docetaxel arms while the median overall survival rates were 6.7 and 7.2 months with vinflunine and docetaxel, respectively.

Quality-of-life scores which included the percentage of patients who used analgesics during treatment and treatment compliance were also similar in the two groups.

Adverse effects such as injection-site reactions, abdominal pain, neutropenia, leukopenia, constipation, vomiting or alopecia, however, were observed more frequently with the vinflunine group.

Nonetheless, the investigator suggested that vinflunine may be another option to docetaxel in the 2nd treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC since most of the adverse effects observed with vinflunine were manageable.

J Clin Oncol 2010.

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