RATIONALE: Drugs used in chemotherapy use different ways to stop tumor cells from dividing
so they stop growing or die.
PURPOSE: Phase II trial to study the effectiveness of chemotherapy with pyrazoloacridine in
treating patients with stage IIIB or stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
OBJECTIVES: I. Evaluate the antitumor activity of pyrazoloacridine (PZA) administered by
3-hour infusion to patients with advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). II. Determine
the qualitative and quantitative toxicities of PZA administered on this schedule. III.
Determine the response and survival durations of NSCLC patients treated with PZA.
OUTLINE: Single-Agent Chemotherapy. Pyrazoloacridine, PZA, NSC-366140.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: If 2 or 3 responses are observed in the first 18 evaluable patients, 12
additional patients will be entered. Accrual is expected to take 5-12 months.
DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: Histologically confirmed non small cell lung cancer ineligible
for higher priority protocols Sputum cytology acceptable Stage IIIB/IV Must have
measurable or evaluable disease Lesion outside prior radiotherapy fields Cytology-positive
pleural effusion and ascites are neither measurable nor evaluable No brain metastases on
PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: Age: Over 18 Performance status: Zubrod 0-2 Life expectancy: At
least 12 weeks Hematopoietic: Absolute granulocyte count greater than 2,000/mm3 Platelet
count greater than 100,000/mm3 Hepatic: Bilirubin less than 2.0 mg/dL Renal: Creatinine
less than 1.5 mg/dL Other: No pregnant or nursing women Negative pregnancy test required
of fertile women Effective contraception required of fertile patients Blood/body fluid
analyses within 7 days prior to registration Imaging/exams for tumor measurement within 28
days prior to registration
PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: Biologic therapy: Not specified Chemotherapy: One prior adjuvant
or neoadjuvant chemotherapy allowed Endocrine therapy: Not specified Radiotherapy: At
least 4 weeks since radiotherapy and recovered AND Progressive disease outside of
radiation port Surgery: Recovered from any prior surgery