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Oncology. 2006;70(5):358-65. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Single-agent gemcitabine for biliary tract cancers. Study outcomes and systematic review of the literature.

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  • 1Outpatient Oncology Unit, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.



The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of gemcitabine-treated patients with inoperable biliary tract cancers.


We conducted a retrospective study of consecutively treated 22 inoperable biliary tract cancer patients with gemcitabine (500-1,000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 15 every 4 weeks) as first-line, and 17 patients as second- or third-line treatment.


The response rate of patients treated with gemcitabine as first-line and second- or third-line treatment was 5.3 and 28.5%, respectively. The median overall survival time in the first-, and second- or third-line treatment groups was 8.3 and 17.0 months, and the 1-year survival rate was 44.0 and 50.9%, respectively. The present study also suggests the possibility that the prognosis of patients with high levels of C-reactive protein and total bilirubin, or a low level of albumin might be worse.


Our results indicate that the treatment of inoperable biliary tract cancers with gemcitabine is feasible. There was no difference in the response rate and overall survival between biliary tract cancer patients in the first- and second- or third-line treatment groups. We also present the systematic review of literature of the recent treatment results of biliary tract cancers treated with gemcitabine.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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