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J Clin Oncol. 2000 Jul;18(13):2615-9.

Gemcitabine in the treatment of refractory Hodgkin's disease: results of a multicenter phase II study.

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Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano-Milano, Italy.



To explore the use of gemcitabine for the treatment of patients with relapsing or refractory Hodgkin's disease.


Eligible patients had measurable disease and more than one previous chemotherapy regimen. Patients previously treated with high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow or peripheral stem-cell support were not included. Gemcitabine, 1,250 mg/m(2), was administered as a 30-minute intravenous infusion on days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle of therapy. The dosing schedule remained fixed, and any dose of gemcitabine that could not be given on time was omitted. Patients who had not experienced any hematologic or nonhematologic toxicity after one complete cycle of therapy were permitted to have subsequent doses increased by 20%: that is, from 1, 250 mg/m(2) to 1,500 mg/m(2).


Of the 23 enrolled patients, 22 were assessable for response; all 23 patients were included in the efficacy analysis. Disease status for two patients (9%) reached a state of complete remission, and seven patients (30%) achieved a partial response, for an overall response rate of 39% (95% confidence interval, 19.7% to 61.5%). The likelihood of achieving a response was not influenced by a patients' main pretreatment characteristics or by their response to their last prior chemotherapy. The median duration of response was 6.7 months (range, 2 to 33+ months), and the median overall survival time was 10.7 months (range, 4 to 34.7+ months). In general, toxicities were mild; no treatment-related deaths occurred, and only one life-threatening adverse event was reported for this study.


Gemcitabine was shown to be active in heavily pretreated patients with Hodgkin's disease, producing a response rate of 39%. Additionally, drug-related toxicities were mild, which thus suggests the possible inclusion of gemcitabine in an earlier phase of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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