Is gemcitabine cost effective in cancer treatment?

Luca Toschi, Giovanna Finocchiaro, Giovanni Luca Ceresoli, Paolo Andrea Zucali, Raffaele Cavina, Isabella Garassino, Fabio De Vincenzo, Armando Santoro, Federico Cappuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gemcitabine is a novel pyrimidine nucleoside antimetabolite agent that is active, either as monotherapy or in association with other cytotoxic compounds, in pancreatic, ovarian breast, bladder and non-small-cell lung cancer. The drug has an acceptable toxicity profile with myelosuppression being the most common adverse event. Pharmacoeconomic assessments have been performed in order to determine whether gemcitabine is a cost effective cancer treatment. Several cost analyses have investigated gemcitabine in association with cisplatin in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, indicating that the combination is cost effective when compared with either old- or new-generation platinum-based treatments. Results in other malignancies are not corroborated by the same quality of evidence, therefore more extensive analyses are warranted. Overall, available data indicate that accurate selection of patients and careful cost analyses should be included in the development of new anticancer drugs for an appropriate use of limited healthcare resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Chemotherapy
  • Gemcitabine non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Pharmacoeconomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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