Nab-paclitaxel/carboplatin (nab-PC) and gemcitabine/carboplatin (GC) are the standard first-line chemotherapy in non-small cell lung carcinoma. Up to now, there is no head to head trial to compare nab-PC with GC in advanced squamous cell lung carcinoma.
A multicentre randomised phase II trial was performed to compare the efficacy and safety for nab-PC with GC in previously untreated patients with advanced squamous cell lung carcinoma. The primary end-point was objective response rate (ORR). Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), treatment-related adverse events and quality of life (QoL) were also analysed.
Totally 127 participants were eligible for this study (62/65 nab-PC/GC). Nab-PC has higher ORR than GC without statistical significance (42% versus 27%, P > 0.05). After a median follow-up of 14.5 months, both PFS and OS had no difference between the two arms (6.7 versus 5.8 months, hazard ratio [HR] 0.75, P = 0.143; 11.6 versus 14.4 months, HR 0.92, P = 0.846). Both regimens were well tolerated; however, more dose reduction occurred after cycle 2 in GC (27%) than in nab-PC (12%) (P < 0.05). Significant QoL improvement measured by trial outcome index was seen in nab-PC than in GC (P < 0.05).
The first-line nab-PC and GC had the same response, PFS, and OS in patients with advanced squamous cell lung carcinoma. Nab-PCM has advantage over GC in QoL improvement.