Topotecan (HYCAMTIN®; GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, Middlesex, UK) is a novel topoisomerase I inhibitor with potentially broad applicability in the treatment of solid and hematologic malignancies. In addition to its use in relapsed small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), topotecan is under investigation in numerous studies for first-line therapy in SCLC and for first- and second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Preliminary evidence presented in this supplement demonstrates that single-agent topotecan and topotecan-based combination regimens are active in these settings. In addition to its potential use in SCLC and NSCLC, the feasibility and antitumor activity of topotecan as single-agent therapy and in combination therapy are under active investigation in a variety of other solid and hematologic tumors. Other important avenues of investigation include the feasibility and tumor activity of a more convenient oral formulation, as well as the investigation of alternate regimens (e.g., 3-day, weekly), with high priority given to regimen toxicity, patient convenience, and quality of life. Preliminary results of some of these trials are presented in this summary. The results of other clinical experience trials are eagerly anticipated.

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