Cisplatin plus vinorelbine as first-line treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: Is a hemogram on day 8 essential?
Provencio M., de Las Peñas R., Camps C., Artal A., Massuti B., Cobo M., Pérez FJ., Sánchez A., Rosell R.
One of the standard treatments for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer patients is the combination of cisplatin plus vinorelbine. This regimen is associated with a high rate of severe neutropenia, and a hemogram is therefore routinely performed on day 8 before the administration of vinorelbine. However, no study has ever examined the rate of neutropenia detected in this hemogram or the rate of discontinuation of chemotherapy as a result. Since one of the objectives in the treatment of advanced lung cancer is to maintain quality of life, we have retrospectively analyzed a Spanish Lung Cancer Group study of cisplatin plus vinorelbine to address the question of whether this hemogram on day 8 could be avoided, thus eliminating unnecessary venipunctures without endangering patient safety. Between April 2004 and January 2006, 180 chemotherapy-naïve, advanced NSCLC patients were included from 35 centers. They received intravenous doses of cisplatin 75mg/m(2) on day 1 plus vinorelbine 25mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks, for a maximum of six cycles. Median age was 62.5 years; 87.2% were males; 80.6% were smokers; 48.2% were adenocarcinomas and 36% were squamous cell carcinomas; 17.2% were stage IIIB and 82.8% stage IV. Of 750 cycles analyzed, vinorelbine was administered on day 8 in 661 (88.1%), and the dose was reduced or canceled in 15 (2%) due to hematological toxicity. Among patients aged<70 with no dose modification in previous cycles, the likelihood of observing hematological toxicity at day 8 was only 0.8% (95% CI, 0.1-3%). We speculate that the hemogram on day 8 could potentially be avoided in this subgroup of patients while still maintaining an acceptable safety margin. Prospective clinical studies to further examine this hypothesis are warranted.