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Drug Regimen Extends Lung Cancer Patients' Lives

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http://www.ajc.com/health/content/share ... 25954.html

THURSDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug treatment regimen appears to improve lung cancer survival, researchers report.

Using the drug docetaxel after cisplatin/etoposide chemotherapy plus radiation therapy for locally advanced (stage IIIB) non-small cell lung cancer can slow the progress of this tough-to-treat malignancy, according to research by the Southwest Oncology Group, based in San Antonio.

The study found that 29 percent of patients who received this treatment regimen were still alive after five years, compared with 17 percent of patients from a previous study that did not include docetaxel.

"The long-term survival data are particularly promising because they exceed the results of all other treatment approaches in this group of patients with stage IIIB disease," Dr. David Gandara said in a prepared statement. He is chairman of the Southwest Oncology Group Lung Cancer Committee, and director of clinical research at the University of California, Davis Cancer Center.

The results of this trial, along with interim findings from another study, confirm that this treatment regimen "can now be considered a standard of care for patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer," Gandara said. A phase III trial is currently under way.

The findings were presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Orlando, Fla.

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