Dose Escalating Study of Biweekly Gemcitabine and Carboplatin in Patients With Advanced Cancer

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
American journal of clinical oncology (Impact Factor: 3.06). 11/2007; 30(5):481-6. DOI: 10.1097/COC.0b013e31804b45c3
Source: PubMed


Combination chemotherapy with gemcitabine and carboplatin administered on a 3-week cycle is used commonly in the treatment of cancer. The purpose of our study was to establish a safe dose of combined gemcitabine and carboplatin when administered on a biweekly schedule to patients with advanced solid tumors. Gemcitabine was given intravenously over 30 minutes followed by carboplatin also given intravenously over 30 minutes once every 2 weeks (one cycle). Five dose levels were examined, ranging from gemcitabine at 1250 mg/m2 to 2000 mg/m2 and carboplatin at an area under the curve of 2.5 to 3.0. Twenty-six patients were studied (18 male and 8 female) with a median age of 57 years (range, 41-83 years); ECOG performance status was 0 or 1 in 22 patients (85%); median number of prior chemotherapy regimens was 2 (range, 0-4); median number of cycles administered per patient was 3 (range, 1-9) with a total of 89 cycles. Two dose-limiting toxicities were observed. Delay in treatment was seen in a total of 8 cycles with 6 of the delays due to myelosuppression. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity rates were as follows: anemia in one cycle (1%), neutropenia in 13 cycles (15%), and thrombocytopenia in one cycle of chemotherapy (1%). There were no hospitalizations for neutropenic fever. Mild fatigue was the most common nonhematologic toxicity. The median time to progression was 40 days (mean, 49 days; range, 4-133 days). Of the 21 evaluable patients, partial response or stable disease was observed in 11 (42%). The maximum tested dose of gemcitabine at 2000 mg/m2 and carboplatin at area under the curve of 3.0 was well tolerated on a biweekly schedule. Our findings indicate that further investigation of this biweekly regimen is warranted in patients with advanced cancer.

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