• 1st ESMO Consensus Conference in lung cancer; Lugano 2010: small-cell lung cancer.

      Stahel, R; Thatcher, Nick; Früh, M; Le Péchoux, C; Postmus, P E; Sorensen, J B; Felip, E; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Blackhall, Fiona H; Department of Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. (2011-09)
      The 1st ESMO Consensus Conference on lung cancer was held in Lugano, Switzerland on 21st and 22nd May 2010 with the participation of a multidisciplinary panel of leading professionals in pathology and molecular diagnostics and medical, surgical and radiation oncology. Before the conference, the expert panel prepared clinically relevant questions concerning five areas as follows: early and locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), first-line metastatic NSCLC, second-/third-line NSCLC, NSCLC pathology and molecular testing, and small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) to be addressed through discussion at the Consensus Conference. All relevant scientific literature for each question was reviewed in advance. During the Consensus Conference, the panel developed recommendations for each specific question. The consensus agreement in SCLC is reported in this article. The recommendations detailed here are based on an expert consensus after careful review of published data. All participants have approved this final update.
    • A20 deletion is associated with copy number gain at the TNFA/B/C locus and occurs preferentially in translocation-negative MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa and salivary glands.

      Chanudet, E; Ye, Hongtao; Ferry, J; Bacon, C M; Adam, P; Müller-Hermelink, H K; Radford, John A; Pileri, S A; Ichimura, K; Collins, V P; et al. (2009-02)
      The genetic basis of MALT lymphoma is largely unknown. Characteristic chromosomal translocations are frequently associated with gastric and pulmonary cases, but are rare at other sites. We compared the genetic profiles of 33 ocular adnexal and 25 pulmonary MALT lymphomas by 1 Mb array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and revealed recurrent 6q23 losses and 6p21.2-6p22.1 gains exclusive to ocular cases. High-resolution chromosome 6 tile-path array-CGH identified NF-kappaB inhibitor A20 as the target of 6q23.3 deletion and TNFA/B/C locus as a putative target of 6p21.2-22.1 gain. Interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that A20 deletion occurred in MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa (8/42=19%), salivary gland (2/24=8%), thyroid (1/9=11%) and liver (1/2), but not in the lung (26), stomach (45) and skin (13). Homozygous deletion was observed in three cases. A20 deletion and TNFA/B/C gain were significantly associated (p<0.001) and exclusively found in cases without characteristic translocation. In ocular cases, A20 deletion was associated with concurrent involvement of different adnexal tissues or extraocular sites at diagnosis (p=0.007), a higher proportion of relapse (67% versus 37%) and a shorter relapse-free survival (p=0.033). A20 deletion and gain at TNFA/B/C locus may thus play an important role in the development of translocation-negative MALT lymphoma.
    • Antivascular agents for non-small-cell lung cancer: current status and future directions.

      Amir, Eitan; Mandoky, Laszlo; Blackhall, Fiona H; Thatcher, Nick; Klepetko, Walter; Ankersmit, Hendrik Jan; Reza Hoda, Mir Ali; Ostoros, Gyula; Dank, Magdolna; Dome, Balazs; et al. (2009-11)
      BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in surgery and chemo(radio)therapy which have allowed for modest advances in the treatment of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), survival remains poor and further improvements are needed. Attention over recent years has focused, therefore, on targeted therapies, with notable success in the development of antivascular drugs. OBJECTIVE: To summarize the current knowledge on antivascular therapy in patients with NSCLC. METHOD: Review of randomized controlled trials exploring treatment of NSCLC patients with antivascular drugs. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), when added to cytotoxic chemotherapy, was the first treatment to prolong the overall survival of patients with advanced NSCLC beyond 12 months, a significant breakthrough in the management of advanced NSCLC. Small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors and alternative antivascular strategies such as VEGF-trap and vascular disrupting agents are also being investigated and have shown promise in clinical trials. This review summarizes the most recent and important findings in antivascular agents in NSCLC.
    • Circulating tumor cells as a window on metastasis biology in lung cancer.

      Hou, Jian-Mei; Krebs, Matthew G; Ward, Timothy H; Sloane, Robert; Priest, Lynsey; Hughes, Andrew; Clack, Glen; Ranson, Malcolm R; Blackhall, Fiona H; Dive, Caroline; et al. (2011-03)
      Circulating tumor cell (CTC) number in metastatic cancer patients yields prognostic information consistent with enhanced cell migration and invasion via loss of adhesion, a feature of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Tumor cells also invade via collective migration with maintained cell-cell contacts and consistent with this is the circulating tumor microemboli (CTM; contiguous groups of tumor cells) that are observed in metastatic cancer patients. Using a blood filtration approach, we examined markers of EMT (cytokeratins, E-cadherin, vimentin, neural cadherin) and prevalence of apoptosis in CTCs and CTM to explore likely mechanism(s) of invasion in lung cancer patients and address the hypothesis that cells within CTM have a survival advantage. Intra-patient and inter-patient heterogeneity was observed for EMT markers in CTCs and CTM. Vimentin was only expressed in some CTCs, but in the majority of cells within CTM; E-cadherin expression was lost, cytoplasmic or nuclear, and rarely expressed at the surface of the cells within CTM. A subpopulation of CTCs was apoptotic, but apoptosis was absent within CTM. This pilot study suggests that EMT is not prosecuted homogeneously in tumor cells within the circulation of lung cancer patients and that collective migration and enhanced survival of cells within CTM might contribute to lung cancer metastasis. Multiplex analysis and further detailed exploration of metastatic potential and EMT in CTCs/CTM is now warranted in a larger patient cohort.
    • Clinical experience with gefitinib in Indian patients.

      Parikh, Purvish; Chang, Alex; Nag, Shona; Digumarti, Raghunadharao; Bhattacharyya, Gouri Shankar; Doval, Dinesh Chandra; Babu, Govind; Chacko, Raju Titus; Advani, Suresh; Ranade, Anantbhushan; et al. (2008-04)
      INTRODUCTION: Treatment options are limited in patients with advanced or refractory non-small cell lung cancer and lead to suboptimal outcome and/or benefit. The epidermal growth factor tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib (IRESSA) has been approved in many countries. Increased responsiveness to gefitinib has been demonstrated in particular subsets of patients, for example never smokers and patients of Asian origin. However, to date, little is known of its use specifically in patients from India. METHODS: Retrospective ad hoc analysis of clinical data from experience with gefitinib in patients with advanced NSCLC from India enrolled in the IRESSA Survival Evaluation in Lung (ISEL) study (n = 77) or included in the gefitinib expanded-access program in India (n = 133). RESULTS: Among Indian patients enrolled in the ISEL study, median survival was 6.4 months with gefitinib and 5.1 month with placebo. The objective response rate in Indian patients was 14% with gefitinib versus 0% with placebo. In ISEL, tolerability data from Indian patients were consistent with the overall study population. In the Indian gefitinib expanded-access program, median survival was 6 months and gefitinib was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Gefitinib seems well tolerated in Indian patients with advanced NSCLC, with some clinical benefit observed.
    • Epidermal growth factor receptor immunohistochemistry: comparison of antibodies and cutoff points to predict benefit from gefitinib in a phase 3 placebo-controlled study in advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer.

      Hirsch, Fred R; Dziadziuszko, Rafal; Thatcher, Nick; Mann, Helen; Watkins, Claire; Parums, Dinah V; Speake, Georgina; Holloway, Brian; Bunn, Paul A; Franklin, Wilbur A; et al. (2008-03-01)
      BACKGROUND: The ISEL (Iressa Survival Evaluation in Lung Cancer) clinical trial evaluated the efficacy of gefitinib versus placebo in pretreated nonsmall-cell lung cancer patients. Two different antibodies, scoring systems, and cutoff points of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein expression were compared to predict response and survival of enrolled patients. METHODS: EGFR expression was assessed in tumor samples by immunohistochemistry using the Dako EGFR pharmDx kit (scoring percent of tumor cells with positive staining) and Zymed monoclonal antibody clone 31G7 (scoring staining index derived from proportion of positive cells times staining intensity). RESULTS: Data for EGFR expression were available for 379 patients for Dako and 357 patients for Zymed antibody (22% and 21%, respectively, of trial population). Objective response rates in gefitinib-treated EGFR-positive patients defined with various cutpoints with Dako antibody varied between 8% and 12%, and with Zymed antibody between 10% and 13%. Lower cutoff points with Dako antibody provided the best discrimination between EGFR-positive and EGFR-negative patients for survival hazard ratios comparing gefitinib to placebo, with a significant treatment/cutoff point interaction for 10% cutoff point (P = .049). A similar but less apparent trend was noted for Zymed antibody, although the discrimination between hazard ratios was not significant for any cutoff point analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: Assessment with the Dako PharmDx kit and percentage of cells with positive staining may provide more accurate prediction of differential effect on survival with gefitinib than assessment with Zymed antibody and staining index. Using higher cutpoints to define positivity does not improve test discrimination.
    • Evaluation and prognostic significance of circulating tumor cells in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

      Krebs, Matthew G; Sloane, Robert; Priest, Lynsey; Lancashire, Lee J; Hou, Jian-Mei; Greystoke, Alastair; Ward, Timothy H; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Hughes, Andrew; Clack, Glen; et al. (2011-04-20)
      Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lacks validated biomarkers to predict treatment response. This study investigated whether circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are detectable in patients with NSCLC and what their ability might be to provide prognostic information and/or early indication of patient response to conventional therapy.
    • Evaluation of circulating tumor cells and serological cell death biomarkers in small cell lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

      Hou, Jian-Mei; Greystoke, Alastair; Lancashire, Lee J; Cummings, Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy H; Board, Ruth E; Amir, Eitan; Hughes, Sarah; Krebs, Matthew G; Hughes, Andrew; et al. (2009-08)
      Serological cell death biomarkers and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have potential uses as tools for pharmacodynamic blood-based assays and their subsequent application to early clinical trials. In this study, we evaluated both the expression and clinical significance of CTCs and serological cell death biomarkers in patients with small cell lung cancer. Blood samples from 88 patients were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for various cytokeratin 18 products (eg, M65, cell death, M30, and apoptosis) as well as nucleosomal DNA. CTCs (per 7.5 ml of blood) were quantified using Veridex CellSearch technology. Before therapeutic treatment, cell death biomarkers were elevated in patients compared with controls. CTCs were detected in 86% of patients; additionally, CD56 was detectable in CTCs, confirming their neoplastic origin. M30 levels correlated with the percentage of apoptotic CTCs. M30, M65, lactate dehydrogenase, and CTC number were prognostic for patient survival as determined by univariate analysis. Using multivariate analysis, both lactate dehydrogenase and M65 levels remained significant. CTC number fell following chemotherapy, whereas levels of serological cell death biomarkers peaked at 48 hours and fell by day 22, mirroring the tumor response. A 48-hour rise in nucleosomal DNA and M30 levels was associated with early response and severe toxicity, respectively. Our results provide a rationale to include the use of serological biomarkers and CTCs in early clinical trials of new agents for small cell lung cancer.
    • Excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) status and lung cancer outcomes: a meta-analysis of published studies and recommendations.

      Hubner, Richard A; Riley, R D; Billingham, L J; Popat, S; Department of Medical Oncology, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. (2011)
      Despite discrepant results on clinical utility, several trials are already prospectively randomizing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients by ERCC1 status. We aimed to characterize the prognostic and predictive effect of ERCC1 by systematic review and meta-analysis.
    • Extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer--moving beyond response rate?

      Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Lorigan, Paul C (2009-05)
    • Individualised treatment in non-small cell lung cancer: precise tissue diagnosis for all?

      Booton, Richard; Blackhall, Fiona H; Kerr, Keith; Respiratory Research Group, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre & NIHR Translational Research (2011-04)
    • Influence of co-morbidity on renal function assessment by Cockcroft-Gault calculation in lung cancer and mesothelioma patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

      Hubner, Richard A; Goldstein, R; Mitchell, S; Jones, A; Ashley, S; O'Brien, M E R; Popat, S; Dept Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011-09)
      Creatinine clearance (CrCl) estimation by Cockcroft-Gault calculation (CG) often replaces measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by [(51)Cr]-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid clearance (EDTA). Co-morbidity, age, and renal impairment influence the accuracy of CG, whilst the relationship between CG and EDTA has been poorly assessed in lung cancer patients, a population significantly affected by these covariates.
    • Is serum or plasma more appropriate for intersubject comparisons in metabolomic studies? An assessment in patients with small-cell lung cancer.

      Wedge, D C; Allwood, J W; Dunn, W; Vaughan, A A; Simpson, Kathryn L; Brown, M; Priest, Lynsey; Blackhall, Fiona H; Whetton, Anthony D; Dive, Caroline; et al. (2011-09-01)
      In clinical analyses, the most appropriate biofluid should be analyzed for optimal assay performance. For biological fluids, the most readily accessible is blood, and metabolomic analyses can be performed either on plasma or serum. To determine the optimal agent for analysis, metabolic profiles of matched human serum and plasma were assessed by gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (in positive and negative electrospray ionization modes). Comparison of the two metabolomes, in terms of reproducibility, discriminative ability and coverage, indicated that they offered similar analytical opportunities. An analysis of the variation between 29 small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients revealed that the differences between individuals are markedly similar for the two biofluids. However, significant differences between the levels of some specific metabolites were identified, as were differences in the intersubject variability of some metabolite levels. Glycerophosphocholines, erythritol, creatinine, hexadecanoic acid, and glutamine in plasma, but not in serum, were shown to correlate with life expectancy for SCLC patients, indicating the utility of metabolomic analyses in clinical prognosis and the particular utility of plasma in relation to the clinical management of SCLC.
    • Management of unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer with combined-modality therapy: a review of the current literature and recommendations for treatment.

      Bayman, Neil A; Blackhall, Fiona H; Jain, Pooja; Lee, Lip W; Thatcher, Nick; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. neil.bayman@christie.nhs.uk (2008-03)
      Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United Kingdom, and long-term survival from lung cancer has hardly improved over the past 30 years. The benefit of combined-modality therapy with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in improving survival for patients with inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was discovered over 10 years ago. In this comprehensive literature review, we discuss the current status of combined-modality therapy for unresectable stage III NSCLC. The efficacy and toxicity of different chemoradiation therapy regimens are presented. The potential role of novel and targeted therapies and radiation dose escalation is also considered. Finally, recommendations are made for the treatment of unresectable stage III NSCLC.
    • Multiplexed assays for detection of mutations in PIK3CA.

      Board, Ruth E; Thelwell, Nicola J; Ravetto, Paul F; Little, Stephen; Ranson, Malcolm R; Dive, Caroline; Hughes, Andrew; Whitcombe, David; Discovery Medicine, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Macclesfield, UK. ruth.board@astrazeneca.com (2008-04)
      BACKGROUND: Mutations in the PIK3CA gene (phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha polypeptide) have recently been described in a number of cancers, and their detection is currently limited because of the low sensitivity of conventional sequencing techniques. METHODS: We combined Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS; AstraZeneca) allele-specific PCR and Scorpions (DxS) to develop assays for tumor-borne PIK3CA mutations and used real-time PCR to develop high-throughput multiplexed assays for the most commonly reported PIK3CA mutants (H1047L, H1047R, E542K, E545K). RESULTS: These assays were more sensitive than sequencing and could detect 5 copies of mutant DNA in proportions as low as 0.1% of the total DNA. We assayed DNA extracted from human tumors and detected PIK3CA mutation frequencies of 10.2% in colorectal cancer, 38.7% in breast cancer, 1.9% in lung cancer, and 2.9% in melanoma. In contrast, sequencing detected only 53% of the mutations detected by our assay. CONCLUSIONS: Multiplexed assays, which can easily be applied to clinical samples, have been developed for the detection of PIK3CA mutations.
    • No study left behind: a network meta-analysis in non-small-cell lung cancer demonstrating the importance of considering all relevant data.

      Hawkins, Neil; Scott, David A; Woods, Beth S; Thatcher, Nick; Oxford Outcomes Ltd., Oxford, UK. neil.hawkins@oxfordoutcomes.com (2009-09)
      OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the importance of considering all relevant indirect data in a network meta-analysis of treatments for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS: A recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence appraisal focussed on the indirect comparison of docetaxel with erlotinib in second-line treatment of NSCLC based on trials including a common comparator. We compared the results of this analysis to a network meta-analysis including other trials that formed a network of evidence. We also examined the importance of allowing for the correlations between the estimated treatment effects that can arise when analysing such networks. RESULTS: The analysis of the restricted network including only trials of docetaxel and erlotinib linked via the common placebo comparator produced an estimated mean hazard ratio (HR) for erlotinib compared with docetaxel of 1.55 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-2.97). In contrast, the network meta-analysis produced an estimated HR for erlotinib compared with docetaxel of 0.83 (95% CI 0.65-1.06). Analyzing the wider network improved the precision of estimated treatment effects, altered their rankings and also allowed further treatments to be compared. Some of the estimated treatment effects from the wider network were highly correlated. CONCLUSIONS: This empirical example shows the importance of considering all potentially relevant data when comparing treatments. Care should therefore be taken to consider all relevant information, including correlations induced by the network of trial data, when comparing treatments.
    • Optimisation of circulating biomarkers of cell death for routine clinical use.

      Greystoke, Alastair; Cummings, Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy H; Simpson, Kathryn L; Renehan, Andrew G; Butt, Fouziah; Moore, David; Gietema, J; Blackhall, Fiona H; Ranson, Malcolm R; et al. (2008-05)
      BACKGROUND: M30 and M65 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays detect circulating cytokeratin 18 fragments released during caspase-dependent or total cell death, respectively, and have potential as biomarkers in epithelial cancers. While these assays have been validated, their robustness for routine clinical use is unknown. PATIENTS AND METHODS: M30 and M65 were measured in matched serum and plasma samples from 31 lung cancer patients and 18 controls. RESULTS: Time allowable between sample acquisition and processing is critical for assays in clinical use. A 4-h delay in processing at room temperature increased M30 (P < 0.0001), an effect minimised by incubation on ice. M30 and M65 in serum were resistant to processing variations including delays. Serum and plasma measurements correlated well although M30 but not M65 was lower in serum (P < 0.0005). Less variation between duplicate assays was observed in serum. Prolonged storage (-80 degrees C) led to increased M30 (12%, 6 months; 34%, 1 year). Sample dilution in the supplied assay diluent proved non-linear, whereas dilution in donor serum or porcine plasma restored linearity up to a ratio of 1 : 6. CONCLUSION: We present recommendations that improve the reliability of these assays for clinical use and recommend serum as the preferred matrix with data more resistant to variations in collection.
    • Phase II study of weekly plitidepsin as second-line therapy for small cell lung cancer.

      Eisen, Tim; Thatcher, Nick; Leyvraz, Serge; Miller, Wilson H; Couture, Felix; Lorigan, Paul C; Lüthi, François; Small, David; Tanovic, Adnan; O'Brien, M; et al. (2009-04)
      OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the antitumor activity and safety profile of plitidepsin administered as a 1h weekly intravenous (i.v.) infusion of 3.2mg/m(2) to patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who relapsed or progressed after one line of chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a multicenter, open-label, single-arm, exploratory, phase II clinical trial. Treatment lasted until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, patient refusal or treatment delay for >2 weeks. Objective response rate (primary efficacy endpoint) was evaluated according to response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST). The rate of stable disease (SD) lasting for at least 6 months and time-to-event variables were secondary endpoints of efficacy. Toxicity was assessed using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) version 2.0. RESULTS: Twenty pretreated SCLC patients (median age, 60 years) with extensive (n = 13) or limited-stage disease (n = 7) received a total of 24 treatment cycles (median, one cycle per patient; range, 1-2). Objective tumor responses were not observed and only one of the 17 evaluable patients had SD. With a median follow-up of 11.8 months, the progression-free survival and the median overall survival were 1.3 months and 4.8 months, respectively. The most troubling or common toxicities were fatigue, muscle weakness, lymphopenia, anemia (no patients showed neutropenia), and asymptomatic, non-cumulative increase of transaminases levels and alkaline phosphatase. CONCLUSION: This clinical trial shows that a cycle of 1h weekly i.v. infusion of plitidepsin (3.2mg/m(2)) was generally well tolerated other than fatigue and muscle weakness in patients with pretreated SCLC. One patient died due to multi-organ failure. The absence of antitumor activity found here precludes further studies of this plitidepsin schedule as second-line single-agent treatment of SCLC.
    • Phase III randomised trial of doxorubicin-based chemotherapy compared with platinum-based chemotherapy in small-cell lung cancer.

      Baka, Sofia; Califano, Raffaele; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Ashcroft, Linda; Thatcher, Nick; Taylor, Pat; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Blackhall, Fiona H; Lorigan, Paul C; Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2008-08-05)
      This randomised trial compared platinum-based to anthracycline-based chemotherapy in patients with small-cell lung cancer (limited or extensive stage) and
    • Phase III study of pemetrexed plus carboplatin compared with etoposide plus carboplatin in chemotherapy-naive patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer.

      Socinski, Mark A; Smit, Egbert; Lorigan, Paul C; Konduri, Kartik; Reck, Martin; Szczesna, Aleksandra; Blakely, Johnetta; Serwatowski, Piotr; Karaseva, Nina A; Ciuleanu, Tudor; et al. (2009-10-01)
      PURPOSE: Following a phase II trial in which pemetrexed-platinum demonstrated similar activity to that of historical etoposide-platinum controls, a phase III study was conducted to compare pemetrexed-carboplatin with etoposide-carboplatin for the treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Chemotherapy-naive patients with ES-SCLC and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of zero to 2 were randomly assigned to receive pemetrexed-carboplatin (pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) on day 1; carboplatin at area under the serum concentration-time curve [AUC] 5 on day 1) or etoposide-carboplatin (etoposide 100 mg/m(2) on days 1 through 3; carboplatin AUC 5 on day 1) every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. The primary objective of the study was noninferiority of pemetrexed-carboplatin overall survival with a 15% margin. RESULTS: Accrual was terminated with 908 of 1,820 patients enrolled after results of a planned interim analysis. In the final analysis, pemetrexed-carboplatin was inferior to etoposide-carboplatin for overall survival (median, 8.1 v 10.6 months; hazard ratio [HR],1.56; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.92; log-rank P < .01) and progression-free survival (median, 3.8 v 5.4 months; HR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.58 to 2.17; log-rank P < .01). Objective response rates were also significantly lower for pemetrexed-carboplatin (31% v 52%; P < .001). Pemetrexed-carboplatin had lower grade 3 to 4 neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and leukopenia than etoposide-carboplatin; grade 3 to 4 thrombocytopenia was comparable between arms and anemia was higher in the pemetrexed-carboplatin arm. CONCLUSION: Pemetrexed-carboplatin is inferior for the treatment of ES-SCLC. Planned translational research and pharmacogenomic analyses of tumor and blood samples may help explain the study results and provide insight into new treatment strategies.