Smorenburg CH, Bontenbal M, Seynaeve C, Van Zuylen C, de Heus G, Verweij J, de Wit RPhase II study of weekly gemcitabine in patients with metastatic breast cancer relapsing or failing both an anthracycline and a taxane. Breast Cancer Res Treat 66: 83-87

Department of Medical Oncology, Rotterdam Cancer Institute (Daniel den Hoed Kliniek) and University Hospital Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.94). 04/2001; 66(1):83-7. DOI: 10.1023/A:1010679127390
Source: PubMed


A phase II study was performed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of gemcitabine as third-line chemotherapy for patients with metastatic breast cancer, previously treated with both an anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimen. Twenty-three patients were treated with gemcitabine 1200 mg/m2 in a 30-min infusion on day 1, 8 and 15 of a 28 day cycle. Seventy-four percent of the patients had visceral metastases. No complete or partial responses were observed. Six patients (26%) had stable disease with a median duration of 4.0 months. The median time to progression was 1.9 months and the median survival time was 7.8 months. Neutropenia grade 3 and 4 was observed in four patients (18%). Non-hematological toxicity grade 3 included nausea and vomiting in 14%, skin toxicity in 9% and elevation of transaminases in 23% of the patients. Gemcitabine is ineffective as third-line single agent therapy in patients failing anthracycline and taxane treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

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    • "In MBC, single-agent gemcitabine has yielded response rates of up to 37% in chemonaive patients, [14-16] and 26% in those pretreated with anthracyclines [16-18]. Median progression-free survival with gemcitabine monotherapy was in the range of 2 to 6 months [14-20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine (G) plus paclitaxel (T) as first-line therapy in recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. Patients with locally, recurrent or metastatic breast cancer and no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease received G 1200 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8, and T 175 mg/m2 on day 1 (before G) every 21 days for a maximum of 10 cycles. Forty patients, 39 metastatic breast cancer and 1 locally-advanced disease, were enrolled. Their median age was 61.5 years, and 85% had a World Health Organization performance status (PS) of 0 or 1. Poor prognostic factors at baseline included visceral involvement (87.5%) and > or =2 metastatic sites (70%). Also, 27 (67.5%) patients had prior adjuvant chemotherapy, 25 of which had prior anthracyclines. A total of 220 cycles (median 6; range, 1-10) were administered. Of the 40 enrolled patients, 2 had complete response and 12 partial response, for an overall response rate of 35.0% for intent-to-treat population. Among 35 patients evaluable for efficacy the response rate was 40%. Additional 14 patients had stable disease, and 7 had progressive disease. The median duration of response was 12 months; median time to progression, 7.2 months; median survival, 25.7 months. Common grade 3/4 toxicities were neutropenia in 17 (42.5%) patients each, grade 3 leukopenia in 19 (47.5%), and grade 3 alopecia in 30 (75.0%) patients; 1 (2.5%) patient had grade 4 thrombocytopenia. GT exhibited encouraging activity and tolerable toxicity as first-line therapy in metastatic breast cancer. Phase III trials for further evaluation are ongoing.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2005 · BMC Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: The anthracyclines doxorubicin and epirubicin, and the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel, are effective chemotherapeutic agents for the first-line and second-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer, and their clinical use is widespread. However, for women whose disease has progressed despite receiving these drugs, treatment options are limited. These women often have a good performance status, and may survive for many months or even years, so they should be given the opportunity to benefit from further chemotherapy. The goals of chemotherapy in these patients are to obtain maximum control of symptoms, prevent serious complications, and increase survival without diminishing quality of life. Several agents are used for this purpose, including fluorouracil, docetaxel (in patients who have already received paclitaxel), vinorelbine, and mitomycin c, but because data from controlled trials are limited, a standard regimen has not yet been established. Moreover, these agents may be inconvenient to administer and can be associated with adverse events requiring hospitalisation. Therefore, there is a clear need for additional therapeutic options for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Ideally, agents should have a convenient method of administration, eg, oral, and should be suitable for home-based rather than hospital-based therapy. Treatment should control disease in at least 20-30% of patients with an acceptable side-effect profile. Novel oral therapies have now been developed and are being used increasingly in patients whose disease has progressed following taxane therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2003 · The Lancet Oncology
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