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Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Sep;90(3):593-6.

Phase 2 trial of single-agent gemcitabine in platinum-paclitaxel refractory ovarian cancer.

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  • 1The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, Department of Gynecology/Obstetrics, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



There is a need to find agents with activity in platinum and taxane refractory ovarian cancer to be employed as second-line therapy in the malignancy. Limited clinical trial experience has suggested that gemcitabine possesses activity in this clinical setting. We wished to further define the level of activity of gemcitabine in women with well-characterized platinum/taxane refractory disease.


Patients with ovarian or fallopian tube cancer or primary carcinoma of the peritoneum, whose disease had either failed to respond to a platinum and taxane treatment, or had responded but the "treatment free interval (TFI)" was < or =3 months, or if the TFI was >3 months and they had been retreated with the agents and not responded (or experienced a TFI of <3 months), were eligible for treatment on this phase 2 single institution protocol. Gemcitabine was administered weekly (as a 1-h infusion) for 3 weeks, followed by 1-week break.


A total of 51 patients were treated on this trial. The initial dose level (1250 mg/m(2)/week) resulted in excessive toxicity (fatigue, fever/chills, bone marrow suppression). The modified starting dose (1000 mg/m(2)/week) resulted in a more acceptable side effect profile. Eight patients (16%) with measurable disease (n = 4) or evaluable disease by CA-125 criteria (n = 4) achieved an objective response (median duration of response: 4 months; range 2-13 months).


Single agent gemcitabine possesses modest, but definite, activity in patients with well-characterized platinum/taxane resistant ovarian cancer. It is reasonable to consider this drug for second-line (or later) treatment in this clinical setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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