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Chemoresistance is mediated, in part, by the inhibition of apoptosis in tumor cells. Survivin is an antiapoptotic protein that blocks chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. To investigate whether blocking survivin expression enhances docetaxel-induced apoptosis in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we compared the antitumor activity of the survivin inhibitor LY2181308 plus docetaxel with docetaxel alone. We used change in tumor size (CTS) as a primary endpoint to assess its use in early decision-making for this and future studies of novel agents in NSCLC. Patients (N = 162) eligible for second-line NSCLC treatment (stage IIIB/IV) with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1 were randomized 2:1 to receive LY2181308 (750 mg intravenously, weekly) and docetaxel (75 mg/m intravenously, day 1) or docetaxel alone every 21 days. CTS from baseline to the end of cycle 2 was compared between the two treatment arms. The mean (SD) tumor size ratio for LY2181308/docetaxel and docetaxel was 1.05 (0.21) and 1.00 (0.15) (p = 0.200), respectively, suggesting no significant improvement in antitumor activity between the arms. Because there was also no significant difference between the two arms for progression-free survival (PFS) (2.83 months with LY2181308/docetaxel and 3.35 months with docetaxel [p = 0.191]), both arms were combined. Using the combined arms, CTS correlated with PFS (PFS = 4.63 months in patients with decreased CTS compared with 2.66 months in patients with increased CTS), supporting its use in early decision-making in phase II studies.

Original publication




Journal article


J Thorac Oncol

Publication Date





1704 - 1708


Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Disease-Free Survival, Docetaxel, Humans, Lung Neoplasms, Oligonucleotides, Survival Analysis, Taxoids