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Assessing the effectiveness and safety of liposomal paclitaxel in combination with cisplatin as first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced NSCLC with regional lymph-node metastasis: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (PLC-GC trial)

Luo Hu1, Gong Liang1, Wang Yuliang1, Zhu Bingjing1, Zhou Xiangdong1* and Xu Rufu2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Respiratory Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, People's Republic of China

2 Center of Evidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, People's Republic of China

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Trials 2013, 14:45  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-45

Published: 15 February 2013



Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Around 80 to 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Regional lymphatic metastasis is a frequent occurrence in NSCLC, and the extent of lymphatic dissemination significantly determines the prognosis of patients with NSCLC. Hence, identification of alternative treatments for these patients should be considered a priority. Liposomal paclitaxel is a new formulation composed of paclitaxel and liposomes, with favorable pharmacokinetic properties. In particular, it produces dramatically higher drug concentrations in the lymph nodes than occurs with the current formulations of paclitaxel, thus we believe that patients with NSCLC with regional lymphatic metastasis may benefit from this new drug. Cisplatin-based doublet chemotherapy is recommended as the first-line treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC. We have designed a trial to assess whether first-line chemotherapy using liposomal paclitaxel combined with cisplatin (LP regimen) is superior to gemcitabine combined with cisplatin (GP regimen) in efficacy (both short-term and long-term efficacy) and safety (adverse events; AEs).


This is a prospective, open-label, controlled randomized clinical trial (RCT) to assess the therapeutic effects and safety of liposomal paclitaxel. The study aims to enroll 126 patients, who will be randomly allocated to one of the two treatment groups (LP and GP), with 63 patients in each group. Patients will receive four to six cycles of the assigned chemotherapy, and primary outcome will be assessed every two cycles. Patients will be recommended for surgery if the tumor becomes resectable. All participants will be followed up for at least 12 months. The objective response rate (ORR), changes in regional lymphatic metastasis (including number and size) and TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) staging will be the primary outcome measures. Progression-free survival, objective survival, median survival time, 1-year survival rate, toxicity, and time to disease progression will be the secondary outcome measures.


A systematic search has indicated that this proposed study will be the first RCT to evaluate whether liposomal paclitaxel plus cisplatin will have beneficial effects, compared with gemcitabine plus cisplatin, on enhancing ORR, changing TNM staging, improving long-term survival, and reducing the frequency of AEs for patients with NSCLC with regional lymphatic metastasis.

Trial registration webcite Identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-12602105

Liposomal paclitaxel; Cisplatin; Gemcitabine; Regional lymph node metastasis; Trials