To determine the efficacy and safety of the combination therapy with docetaxel and cisplatin (CDDP) at low doses in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC. A total of 42 patients aged ≥70 years with previously untreated advanced NSCLC received docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus CDDP 50 mg/m2 on day 1. The regimen was repeated every 21 days. Patients received a minimum of three courses unless progressive disease was detected. By intent-to-treat analysis, the overall response rate was 31% (95% CI, 17.8–47.2%). A total of 18 patients (43%) had stable disease and 11 (26%) progressed. Median time to progression was 5.2 months. Overall median survival was 8.9 months, with 1-year actuarial survival rate of 41%. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was improved in 18 patients (43%). The chemotherapy regimen was well tolerated. A total of 11 patients (26%) had grade 3/4 adverse events: 7 (17%) neutropenia (one of them was diagnosed with febrile neutropenia), 3 (7%) asthenia, 3 (7%) nausea/vomiting, 1 (2%) diarrhea, 1 (2%) thrombocytopenia and 1 (2%) neurotoxicity. No death due to toxicity was seen. The combination of low-dose CDDP and docetaxel for elderly patients with advanced NSCLC is an efficient and well-tolerated chemotherapeutic approach.
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