Phase II study of gemcitabine in recurrent platinum-and paclitaxel-resistant ovarian cancer

Giuseppe D'Agostino, Frederic Amant, Patrick Berteloot, Giovanni Scambia, Ignace Vergote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To determine the activity and tolerability of gemcitabine in the palliative treatment of ovarian cancer. Methods. Patients affected by ovarian cancer, and with progressive disease after treatment with platinum/paclitaxel-based chemotherapy, were enrolled into this phase II study. Gemcitabine, 1000 mg/m2, was administered on days 1, 8, and 15, by 30-min intravenous infusion. Cycles were repeated every 28 days. Results. Fifty patients were enrolled. All the patients were platinum and/or paclitaxel resistant (median number of previous regimens, 2; range, 1-5). Median platinum-free interval was 3 (range, 1-11) months and median paclitaxel-free interval was 6 (range, 1-36) months. A total of 210 courses were evaluable for toxicity, with a median number of four cycles administered per patient (range, 1-10). A grade 3 or 4 hematological toxicity was observed in 27 patients (54%) (anemia grade 3, 16%; grade 4, 2%; neutropenia grade 3, 24%; grade 4, 18%; thrombocytopenia grade 3, 8%; grade 4, 0%). A 20-50% dose reduction was required for 36 patients (72%, 55% of cycles). Blood transfusions were necessary for 15 patients (30%), while 2 (4%) were treated with erythropoetin. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was necessary in 4 patients (8%). Nonhematological toxicity was mild and manageable. Only 4 patients (8%) experienced a grade 3 hepatic toxicity (elevated liver enzymes). Forty-one patients (82%) are, so far, evaluable for response. Among them, 7 partial responses (17%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6-29), 15 disease stabilizations (>16 weeks) (36.6%; 95% CI, 21.9-51.3), and 19 progressions (46.3%; 95% CI, 31.0-61.6) have been registered. An overall clinical benefit was observed in 53.7% of patients. Thirteen patients (31.7%) had a time-to-progression exceeding 24 weeks. Conclusions. This study confirms the activity and safety of gemcitabine in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Gemcitabine
  • Phase II
  • Recurrent ovarian cancer
  • Single-agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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