Significant Survival Benefit to Patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer from Treatment with ClarithromycinMikasa K.a · Sawaki M.a · Kita E.b · Hamada K.a · Teramoto S.a · Sakamoto M.a · Maeda K.a · Konishi M.a · Narita N.a
Departments of aMedicine II, and bBacteriology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Japan
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We carried out a randomized study of 49 consecutive patients with unresectable primary lung cancer to determine whether clarithromycin (CAM), a 14-membered ring macrolide, can improve outcome. A total of 49 patients (42 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and 7 patients with small-cell lung cancer) had received prior chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both during their hospital stay. They were randomly allocated into two study groups on the first visit after discharge: 25 patients (22 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, 3 patients with small-cell lung cancer) were assigned to receive CAM (400 mg/day, orally), and 24 patiens (20 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, 4 patients with small-cell lung cancer) did not receive CAM. CAM treatment after randomization was open and the treatment was to be continued as long as the patients could tolerate CAM. There was no significant difference in the median survival time for small-cell lung cancer between the CAM group and the non-CAM group. However, CAM treatment significantly increased the median survival time for non-small-cell lung cancer patients, the median survival for the CAM group was 535 days and that for the non-CAM group was 277 days. Analyses of prognostic factors showed that only treatment with CAM was predictive of longer survival for non-small-cell lung cancer, and other tested covariates had no effects on the prognosis. There were no remarkable side effects observed in the CAM group throughout treatment. We conclude that long-term treatment using CAM is beneficial for unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer patiens and that it can increase the median survival of patients with advanced disease.
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