Gemcitabine and docetaxel every 2 weeks in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: A phase II study of the Gruppo Oncologico Italia Meridionale

Domenico Galetta, Vittorio Gebbia, Francesco Giotta, Ernesto Durini, Sante Romito, Nicola Borsellino, Carlo Cazzato, Giuseppe Pezzella, Giuseppe Colucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Platinum-based chemotherapy is the gold standard in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), although with relevant toxic effects. Both docetaxel (DCT) and gemcitabine (GEM) have shown activity as single agent in advanced NSCLC with a different toxicity profile and a lack of cross-resistance. Materials and methods: From April 2000 to May 2001, 47 consecutive patients were enrolled in a multicenter phase II trial. Main inclusion criteria included untreated patients with histologically confirmed NSCLC, age ≤ 70 years, stage IIIB/IV, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (PS) 0-2, measurable disease, adequate hematologic, cardiac, hepatic and renal functions, and written informed consent. Treatment schedule consisted of DCT at the dosage of 50 mg/m2 with conventional steroid premedication and GEM at the dosage of 2000 mg/m2. Both drugs were administered every 2 weeks without prophylactic use of growth factors. Results: Enrolled patients included 40 males and seven females with a median age of 65 years, and a median PS 1. There were 26 squamous carcinomas, 13 adenocarcinomas, and eight others, 13 stage IIIB and 34 stage IV. A total of 371 cycles were administered. Overall 18 partial responses were observed (38.3%); 14 patients were considered as stable disease and 13 showed progressive disease. Two treatment-not related deaths occurred before the first disease evaluation was performed. Median duration of response was 6 months (range 2-10) and median duration of survival was 10.5 months (range 1-25+). One year survival probability was 38% (95% CI 25-54%). In a statistical analysis responses were independent to histology or stage. Grade 3-4 toxicity, according NCI criteria, was mild with neutropenia in eight patients (17%), anemia in two patients (4%). Asthenia affected two patients and mucositis occurred in one patient. Conclusions: In our experience the biweekly combination of DCT and GEM is active and well tolerated and can be administered without G-CSF primary prophylaxis reducing treatment costs. It should be considered as a promising alternative to more toxic platinum-based regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Docetaxel
  • Gemcitabine
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Phase II study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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