Role of gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer patients: A short review

Nicola Silvestris, Saverio Cinieri, Ignazia La Torre, Giuseppe Pezzella, Gianmauro Numico, Laura Orlando, Vito Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many active cytotoxic drugs, given according to a number of different regimens are approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients. However, these therapies have not changed the outcome of patients affected by this malignancy. As a consequence, the balance between chemotherapy-induced side effects and relief of cancer-related symptoms must be carefully considered in this setting. Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite that is incorporated as a triphosphate into DNA. As a single agent, it yields responses rates ranging from 14% to 37% in chemotherapy-naïve patients and from 12% to 30% in patients previously treated with anthracyclines and/or taxanes. In combination with paclitaxel, it produces a significantly higher response rate (41.4% vs. 26.2%), longer time to progression (6.1 vs. 4 months) and significantly higher overall survival (18.6 vs. 15.8 months) than paclitaxel alone. In addition, a phase III study revealed that gemcitabine plus docetaxel is as effective as capecitabine plus docetaxel, but causes significantly less non-haematologic toxicity. Lastly, in another phase III trial, progression free survival was significantly longer with the combination of gemcitabine plus vinorelbine than with vinorelbine alone (6 vs. 4 months), but without a significant difference in overall survival; the incidence of haematologic toxicity was higher in the group treated with combined therapy. Novel gemcitabine combinations are being investigated in phase II studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalBreast
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Fingerprint

gemcitabine
docetaxel
Breast Neoplasms
Paclitaxel
Antimetabolites
Drug Therapy
Taxoids
Survival
Anthracyclines
Disease-Free Survival
Neoplasms
Therapeutics
DNA
Incidence
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Gemcitabine
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Cite this

Role of gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer patients : A short review. / Silvestris, Nicola; Cinieri, Saverio; La Torre, Ignazia; Pezzella, Giuseppe; Numico, Gianmauro; Orlando, Laura; Lorusso, Vito.

In: Breast, Vol. 17, No. 3, 06.2008, p. 220-226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Silvestris, N, Cinieri, S, La Torre, I, Pezzella, G, Numico, G, Orlando, L & Lorusso, V 2008, 'Role of gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer patients: A short review', Breast, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 220-226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2007.10.009
Silvestris N, Cinieri S, La Torre I, Pezzella G, Numico G, Orlando L et al. Role of gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer patients: A short review. Breast. 2008 Jun;17(3):220-226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2007.10.009
Silvestris, Nicola ; Cinieri, Saverio ; La Torre, Ignazia ; Pezzella, Giuseppe ; Numico, Gianmauro ; Orlando, Laura ; Lorusso, Vito. / Role of gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer patients : A short review. In: Breast. 2008 ; Vol. 17, No. 3. pp. 220-226.
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