Background: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of cisplatin/etoposide continuous infusion chemotherapy for cancer of unknown primary site in Taiwan, a region with a high prevalence of endemic viral infections. Method: Between April 1994 and February 1996, 20 patients with a diagnosis of CUPS were treated, including 15 males and five females, of average age 63.3 years (range 41-83 years). Continuous intravenous infusion of etoposide 80 mg/m2 and cisplatin 25 mg/m2 was given for 3 days every 3 weeks. Pretreatment tumor marker and viral serology studies were performed for baseline evaluation. Nearly two-thirds of the patients had poorly differentiated carcinoma. The average number of metastatic sites was 2.65 (range 1-4), with liver and lymph node involvement predominating. Results: The overall response rate was 25% (95% Cl 17.7-32.3%); 30.7% for poorly differentiated cancers and 25% for well differentiated cancers. Median survival was 4 months (range 1-12 months), 4.8 months for patients attaining partial response. Toxicity was moderate, grade 3 and 4 neutropenia occurred in 55% and grade 3 and 4 thrombocytopenia in 40%; other toxicities were mild. CA125 and CA199 were elevated in more than 50% of patients. Viral serology studies were not significantly different from those of the indigenous population. Conclusion: Etoposide and cisplatin combination chemotherapy has modest activity in patients with extensive CUPS and, at the schedule and dosage given, it is associated with moderate toxicity.
- Cancer of unknown primary site (CUPS)
- Tumor markers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research