Gemcitabine alone or combined with cisplatin in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

M. Offidani, A. Mele, L. Corvatta, M. Marconi, L. Malerba, A. Olivieri, S. Rupoli, F. Alesiani, P. Leoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gemcitabine is a pyrimidine nucleoside analog with antitumor activity against solid tumor malignancies and leukemia. We evaluated its activity as a single agent and combining it with cisplatin in relapsed-refractory multiple myeloma (MM). Sixteen patients with advanced MM received intravenous gemcitabine 1250 mg/mq (days 1, 8 and 15) as a single agent for a total of 3 monthly courses. The responders received another three courses, and the non-responders received three courses of gemcitabine 1000 mg/mq (days 1, 8 and 15) plus cisplatin 80 mg/mq (day 1). No grade 4 hematological toxicity was seen after gemcitabine treatment, whereas ≥3 grade neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were seen in 21 and 13% of the gemcitabine-cisplatin infusions, respectively. Non-hematological toxicity was negligible for both the regimens. After three courses of gemcitabine as a single agent, the response rate was 31% (1 complete response, 1 partial response and 3 minimal response). Eight patients (50%) achieved stable disease and 3 (19%) had disease progression. Ten patients received gemcitabine-cisplatin and were evaluable for the response. Two patients progressed, four maintained stable disease whereas four patients, unresponsive to gemcitabine, obtained a response (3 partial response and 1 minimal response). With a median follow-up of 13 months (range 8-17.5), 7 patients (44%) died, 5 (31%) had disease progression, 1 (6%) relapsed, 1 was still in partial response (+11 months) and 2 (13%) had a stable disease. Median time to treatment failure (TTF) was 8 months (CI 95%: 7.6-8.4) and median overall survival (OS) was 16 months (CI95%: 10-22). These results showed that gemcitabine and gemcitabine-cisplatin were feasible regimens and well tolerated in advanced relapsed-refractory MM. The response rates, the TTF and OS were similar to other salvage chemotherapy regimens; nevertheless, the quality of response was modest particularly after gemcitabine alone. Better results might be obtained combining gemcitabine with other chemotherapy compounds or with biologically based therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1279
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Gemcitabine
  • Gemcitabine and cisplatinum
  • Refractory myeloma
  • Relapsed myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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