The Role of Oral Etoposide in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Comis, R.L.; Friedland, D.M.; Good, B.C.
December 1999
Drugs;Dec1999 Supplement 3, Vol. 58 Issue 6, p21
Academic Journal
Oral etoposide has been tested alone and in combination in a number of tumour types since the late 1980s because of its mild toxicity, high response rates, ease of administration, and comparatively low cost. Encouraging early results with protracted oral etoposide therapy in small cell lung cancer have not been borne out in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly in the advanced-disease setting. However, in stage IV NSCLC, oral etoposide does appear to be as compatible with most of the newer agents as it has been with platinum compounds; these combinations continue to be explored, although they have not penetrated into standard usage. In stage III NSCLC, large combined-modality studies are ongoing. Other investigations examining protracted administration in combination with radiation ‘sensitisers’ are planned. It is possible that by exploiting the ‘radiosensitising effect’ of prolonged low dose oral etoposide, combined with that of other proven radiosensitisers such as paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and topotecan, we may identify a niche for oral etoposide in the future.


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