Phase I and pharmacologic study of weekly gemcitabine and paclitaxel in chemo-naive patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

T. De Pas, F. De Braud, R. Danesi, C. Sessa, C. Catania, G. Curigliano, S. Fogli, M. Del Tacca, G. Zampino, A. Sbanotto, A. Rocca, S. Cinieri, E. Marrocco, A. Milani, A. Goldhirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gemcitabine (GEM) and paclitaxel (TAX) are active, non-cross-resistant drugs in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We performed a phase I study to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), antitumor activity and pharmacokinetics of GEM and TAX given weekly in chemo-naive patients with advanced NSCLC. Patients and methods: Escalating doses of GEM (800-2000 mg/m2) and TAX (60-100 mg/m2) were administered on days 1, 8, 15 every 4 weeks to 35 patients with advanced NSCLC. Plasma pharmacokinetics of TAX and GEM was assessed at the three higher dose-levels. Results: Dose-escalation was discontinued in absence of MTD because of increased cumulative toxicity leading to dose modification or treatment delay at levels 6 and 7 (TAX 100 mg/m2 plus GEM 1750 and, respectively, 2000 mg/m2). Hematological toxicity included grade 4 neutropenia in 3% of cycles, grade 3 thrombocytopenia in one cycle and febrile neutropenia in three cycles. Maximal non-hemathological toxicity was grade 3 elevation in serum transaminases and grade 2 neuro-sensory toxicity in 8% and 5% of cycles, respectively. At the two higher dose-levels a non-linear pharmacokinetics of GEM was observed with a remarkable variability of C(max) and AUC. No pharmacokinetic interactions were reported. Objectives responses were seen at all dose levels, with an overall response rate of 43% (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 25.5%-62.6%) in 30 evaluable patients. Conclusions: The weekly administration of GEM and TAX is very well tolerated, and has shown promising antitumor activity in NSCLC. In view of the cumulative toxicity and of the pharmacokinetic profile of GEM, doses of 1500 mg/m2 of GEM and 100 mg/m2 of TAX are recommended for phase II studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Gemcitabine
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Paclitaxel
  • Pharmacokinetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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