- Etoposide and cisplatin (EP) has been the standard therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at many cancer centers for over a decade. We analyzed our experience with EP in NSCLC to provide a baseline for comparison with new drugs. From 1986 through 1994, 46 of our patients with NSCLC received EP as first-line chemotherapy. Radiation therapy was administered to 25 of them, including 20 who received it immediately before or concomitantly with chemotherapy. Toxicity was mild and included only 1 episode of neutropenic fever and 1 case of reversible renal failure. Overall response was 22%. In 3, response was complete (pathologically documented in 2 of them) and in 7 partial. Median survival in locally advanced (stage III) and metastatic disease (stage IV and recurrent) were 12 months and 7 months, respectively. 2 patients are alive and free of disease more than 6 years after diagnosis. Our results are consistent with other published studies of EP in NSCLC. EP provides modest benefit in locally advanced NSCLC, with minimal toxicity.