Treatment with nab-paclitaxel plus carboplatin resulted in significant improvement in objective response rate and overall survival as compared with paclitaxel plus carboplatin in patients aged 70 or older with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, according to a study presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference 2016.1

A phase 3 trial by Socinski et al demonstrated the clinical efficacy of nab-paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Researchers sought to conduct a post hoc analysis to specifically investigate the clinical outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma, including those 70 years of age and older.

The phase 3 study enrolled 1052 patients with stage 3b or 4 NSCLC who had received no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease. A total of 450 patients had squamous cell carcinoma, of which 65 were aged 70 or older.

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Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 or paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 on day 1 in combination with carboplatin AUC 6 on day 1 every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Results showed that objective response rate was 46% for patients 70 years or older who received nab-paclitaxel compared with 20% for those who received paclitaxel (P = .029). Further, median overall survival was 16.9 months and 8.6 months, respectively (P = .018); however, there was no significant difference in median progression-free survival between the 2 groups.

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Researchers also observed similar findings in patients with squamous cell carcinoma who were aged 65 and older and those 60 years and older.

The findings ultimately suggested that nab-paclitaxel demonstrated higher dose intensity vs paclitaxel in patients with squamous cell carcinoma and in older patients.


  1. Gridelli C, Ko A, O’Brien M, et al. Nab-paclitaxel + carboplatin (nab-P/C) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): outcomes in elderly patients (pts) with squamous (SCC) histology. Poster presentation at: European Lung Cancer Conference 2016; April 13-16, 2016; Geneva, Switzerland.