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Paclitaxel and Docetaxel Combinations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer*

Chandra P. Belani, MD
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*From the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.

Correspondence to: Chandra P. Belani, MD, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 200 Lothrop St, MUH N-725, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail: belanicp@msx.upmc.edu



Chest. 2000;117(4_suppl_1):144S-151S. doi:10.1378/chest.117.4_suppl_1.144S
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Paclitaxel, the first of the taxanes, has exhibited unique and encouraging single-agent activity in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Yet, with single-agent response rates approaching 25%, it was logical to examine the impact of paclitaxel in combination chemotherapy regimens. In trials evaluating the activity of paclitaxel in combination with one of the platinum compounds, cisplatin or carboplatin, response rates have ranged from 35 to > 50% and were significantly better than response rates observed with etoposide/cisplatin, the previous standard regimen for treatment of NSCLC. Docetaxel is a newer taxane that also has exhibited notable single-agent activity and response rates ranging from 20 to 50% when combined with cisplatin. Future research will look to refine the use of taxane combinations in NSCLC and to examine the potential of these unique and promising drugs when combined with newer agents that are active against this disease.

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