A phase II clinical trial of intrapleural paclitaxel injection for malignant effusions of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was conducted in order to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity profile of paclitaxel pleurodesis in patients with malignant effusions. From February to May of 1996, 15 NSCLC patients with malignant pleural effusions were enrolled on study. After adequate drainage and assurance of lung re-expansion, paclitaxel 125 mg m-2 diluted in normal saline was infused through a preinserted pig-tail catheter which was removed 2 h later. Chest radiography and sonography were scheduled 4 days later; depending on whether there remained a significant amount of pleural effusion, further drainage by needle thoracentesis or by a pig-tail catheter was performed. All patients were assessable for toxicity. Ipsilateral chest and/or shoulder pain, fever, facial flushing and nausea were the most frequent side-effects. Grade 4 neutropenia, grade 3 anaemia, and grade 3 renal impairment occurred in one patient each. Fourteen patients were evaluable for response at the end of the fourth week. Overall response rate of pleural effusion in evaluable patients was 92.9%, with a complete response rate of 28.6%. There was one out of 14 evaluable patients whose measurable tumour lesion decreased by more than 50% (partial response). No disease progression was noted among evaluable patients at the end of the fourth week. It is concluded that paclitaxel is a useful agent for the treatment of malignant pleural effusions. Because of its relatively low systemic toxicity, intrapleural paclitaxel injection in combination with systemic chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be considered in treating NSCLC patients with malignant pleural effusions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine