Twenty-eight patients with unresectable, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were treated with carboplatin/oral etoposide. Carboplatin was administered intravenously on day 1 at a dose of 300 mg/m2 (12 patients) or 350 mg/m2 (16 patients); oral etoposide was administered at a dose of 50 mg/m2/d for 21 consecutive days. Treatment was repeated every 28 days. Patient characteristics included male:female ratio of 23:5, median age of 60 years, median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1, weight loss of 5% or more in seven patients; stage IIIB disease in two patients and stage IV in 26. Twenty-five patients were evaluable for response and seven (28%) achieved a partial response (95% confidence interval, 14% to 48%). Median duration of response was 3+ months (range, 2+ to 6+) and median survival was 4+ months (range, 1+ to 10+). Myelosuppression was the predominate toxicity; leukocyte and platelet nadirs occurred between days 22 and 29, with median counts of 2,900/microL and 172,000/microL, respectively. The median interval between the start of cycle 1 and the start of cycle 2 was 33 days (range, 26 to 42). Carboplatin/oral etoposide is a moderately active regimen against advanced NSCLC that can be administered in an outpatient setting with manageable toxicity. Its impact on survival remains to be determined.