The value of platinum compounds has come into question with the advent of newer chemotherapy agents in the management of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. These newer agents, which include the taxanes, topoisomerase I inhibitors, gemcitabine, and vinorelbine, appear to have higher single-agent response rates and more favorable toxicity profiles when compared to the platinum compounds. However, the toxicity of the platinum compounds is now minimized with the advent of more effective antiemetics. In addition, phase III clinical trials have demonstrated that the strategy of cisplatin dose intensity and prolonged duration of therapy with platinum compounds does not improve overall survival; therefore, moderate doses of cisplatin and a shorter duration of therapy can be given to further decrease toxicity. Furthermore, while phase II trials utilizing nonplatinum-based combination chemotherapy appear to demonstrate superior response rates and survival in comparison to platinum-based doublets, results of phase III trials have demonstrated no improvement in survival. Platinum combination chemotherapy remains the standard approach for stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer. More substantial advances will likely be made with novel molecular targeted therapy, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, which demonstrate synergy with the platinum compounds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine