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Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Cancer of Unknown Primary Origin

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified February 2003 by National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: November 1, 1999
Last updated: August 6, 2013
Last verified: February 2003

RATIONALE: Drugs used in chemotherapy use different ways to stop tumor cells from dividing so they stop growing or die. Combining more than one drug may kill more tumor cells. It is not yet known which combination chemotherapy regimen is more effective for cancer of unknown primary origin.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to compare the effectiveness of two different regimens of combination chemotherapy in treating patients with cancer of unknown primary origin.

Condition Intervention Phase
Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Drug: carboplatin Drug: etoposide Drug: fluorouracil Drug: leucovorin calcium Drug: paclitaxel Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Phase III Trial of Paclitaxel, Carboplatin and Etoposide Vs. 5-Fluorouracil and Folinic Acid in the Treatment of Patients With Adenocarcinoma of Unknown Primary Site

Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Estimated Enrollment: 140
Study Start Date: August 1998
Detailed Description:


  • Compare the overall survival after treatment with paclitaxel, carboplatin, and etoposide and after treatment with fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium in patients with adenocarcinoma of unknown primary.
  • Compare the response rates, progression free survival, toxicity profile, and quality of life between the two regimens in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified by center and presence or absence of liver metastases.

Patients are randomly assigned to one of two treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive paclitaxel IV over 1 hour and carboplatin IV over 30 minutes on day 1, and oral etoposide on days 1-10. Treatment is repeated every 3 weeks for up to four courses.
  • Arm II: Patients receive leucovorin calcium IV over 2 hours followed by fluorouracil IV over 24 hours weekly for 6 weeks. Treatment is repeated every 7 weeks for up to two courses.

Patients are followed every 3 months after treatment for 1 year or until death. Quality of life questionnaires are completed at each follow-up.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: Approximately 120-140 patients will be accrued for this study within 3 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of any differentiation grade

    • Excludes the following "treatable" conditions:

      • Axillary node involvement
      • Peritonitis carcinomatosis
      • Blastic bone metastases and/or elevated PSA
      • Squamous cell cancer with cervical or inguinal presentation
      • Poorly differentiated carcinoma

        • Neuroendocrine tumors OR
        • Tumors located in the mediastinum, retroperitoneum, or nodes
  • At least one measurable metastatic site
  • No brain or meningeal metastases



  • Over 18

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2


  • Leukocyte count at least 4,000/mm3
  • Thrombocyte count at least 100,000/mm3


  • Bilirubin less than 1.4 mg/dL
  • AST and ALT less than 3 times upper limit of normal
  • No cirrhosis of the liver


  • Creatinine less than 1.7 mg/dL


  • At least 3 months since myocardial infarction
  • No congestive heart failure, tachydysrhythmia, or unstable angina pectoris


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • No active infection
  • No other serious illness or medical condition
  • No current or prior malignancy except nonmelanomatous skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix


Biologic therapy:

  • Not specified


  • No prior chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy:

  • Not specified


  • At least 4 weeks since prior radiotherapy (no greater than 25% of bone marrow)


  • Not specified
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00003558

Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht
Maastricht, Netherlands, 6202 AZ
St. Elisabeth Ziekenhuis
Tilburg, Netherlands, 5022 GC
Sponsors and Collaborators
Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht
Study Chair: R. L. Jansen, MD, PhD Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht
  More Information Identifier: NCT00003558     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: DUT-KWF-CKVO-9801
CDR0000066622 ( Registry Identifier: PDQ (Physician Data Query) )
Study First Received: November 1, 1999
Last Updated: August 6, 2013

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
adenocarcinoma of unknown primary
newly diagnosed carcinoma of unknown primary

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neoplasms, Unknown Primary
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasm Metastasis
Neoplastic Processes
Pathologic Processes
Etoposide phosphate
Albumin-Bound Paclitaxel
Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
Antineoplastic Agents
Tubulin Modulators
Antimitotic Agents
Mitosis Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Topoisomerase II Inhibitors
Topoisomerase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Antidotes processed this record on August 23, 2017