A phase II trial of a biweekly combination of paclitaxel and gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer

Silverio Tomao, Adriana Romiti, Federica Tomao, Marisa di Seri, Giuliana Caprio, Gian Paolo Spinelli, Edmondo Terzoli, Luigi Frati

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Background: Many emerging new drugs have recently been trialled for treatment of early and advanced breast cancer. Among these new agents paclitaxel and gemcitabine play a crucial role, mostly in patients with relapsed and metastatic disease after failure of chemotherapy with antracyclines. Methods: A phase II study was started in order to evaluate the activity and toxicity of a combination of paclitaxel and gemcitabine in a biweekly schedule on metastatic breast cancer patients previously treated with antracyclines. Results: Twenty-five patients received paclitaxel (150 mg/mq) by 3-hours infusion, followed by gemcitabine (2000 mg/mq) given as a 60 min i.v. infusion (day 1-14) for a maximum of eight cycles. In all patients treatment was evaluated for toxicity and efficacy; four patients (16%) achieved a complete response, 12 (48%) a partial response giving an overall objective response rate of 64%. Stable disease was documented in 5 patients (20%) and progressive disease occurred in 4 patients (16%). Conclusion: The schedule of treatment was safe and tolerable from a haematological and nonhaermatological point of view. These data confirm that the combination of gemcitabine and paclitaxel on a biweekly basis is an effective and well-tolerated regimen in breast cancer patients with prior therapeutic exposure to antracyclines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - May 24 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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