Is Docetaxel better than Pemetrexed in Lung Cancer Patients?

Docetaxel is a type of chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer. It is sometimes used after other treatments fail to cure cancer. Researchers wanted to know if docetaxel was better than pemetrexed in treating these types of patients. The patients were given either pemetrexed or docetaxel intravenously after they had failed to respond to another chemotherapy agent. A total of 571 patients were treated with these therapies. The researchers were looking to see the overall survival rate after receiving either one of these agents. The results of the study showed that 9.1 percent of patients receiving pemetrexed survived, while 8.8 percent of patients receiving docetaxel survived. From this, they determined that pemetrexed was slightly better than docetaxel and that people had docetaxel had more side effects, including fever and low white blood cell counts.

Source: 1. Hanna N, et al. Randomized Phase III Trial of Pemetrexed Versus Docetaxel in Patients with Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Previously Treated with Chemotherapy. JCO. 2004 May; 22(9): 1589.

Dr. Adem Gunes