Single-agent gemcitabine as second-line treatment in patients with advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): A phase II trial

C. Gridelli, F. Perrone, C. Gallo, A. Rossi, E. Barletta, M. L. Barzelloni, S. Creazzola, T. Gatani, F. Fiore, C. Guida, F. Scognamiglio

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Background: Although the use of salvage chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is controversial, pretreated symptomatic patients often need some kind of treatment to achieve symptoms relief. Gemcitabine is one of the most active new drugs in advanced NSCLC and preliminary reports suggest that it is active also in patients previously treated with platinum compounds. Aim: to evaluate activity and toxicity and the effect on quality of life of gemcitabine in platinum-pretreated patients with advance NSCLC. Methods: single-stage phase 2 trial with p0 = 5%, p1 = 20%, alfa = 5%, beta = 10%; 34 patients required and 4 objective responses expected to warrant further studies. Gemcitabine was administered at dose of 1000 mg/m2, i.v., d 1-8-15, every 4 weeks, for a maximum of 6 cycles. Quality of life was measured by EORTC C-30 and LC-13 questionnaires. Results: from September 1996 to July 1998, 30 patients have been enrolled. There were 6 (20% exact 95% CI 8-39%) partial responses (2 responses were in pts with brain metastases and 2 in patients progressed during first-line chemotherapy). All patients (but one died because myocardial infarction) progressed; median time to progression was 10 weeks (95% CI 7-12); 28 patients died; median survival was 22 weeks (95% CI 17-29). Quality of life analysis showed no significant change but for the improvement of cough after 3 cycles of chemotherapy. There was no severe toxicity. Conclusion: gemcitabine is active as second line for patients with advanced NSCLC who received platinum-based first line treatment. In view of such results randomized trials comparing gemcitabine versus best supportive care are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4535-4538
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number5 C
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Gemcitabine
  • Non small cell lung cancer
  • Phase II study
  • Second line chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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