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Lung Cancer. 2003 Jul;41(1):101-6.

Gemcitabine and oxaliplatin: a safe and active regimen in poor prognosis advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients.

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Medical Oncology Unit, University-Hospital of Parma, Via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma, Italy.



Most patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cannot tolerate a cisplatin-based chemotherapy because of old age, general conditions, and/or multiorgan metastatic sites. Oxaliplatin is active in NSCLC, offers advantage in terms of toxicity, and shows synergism with gemcitabine. The aims of this phase II study were to evaluate the response rate and toxicity of the gemcitabine-oxaliplatin combination in patients with advanced NSCLC and poor prognosis.


Patients were given a gemcitabine infusion (1000 mg/m(2) over 30 min on days 1 and 8) followed by oxaliplatin (65 mg/m(2) over 120 min on days 1 and 8) every 21 days for six cycles.


Thirty-two patients with poor-prognosis advanced NSCLC received 136 cycles. There were 25 males and seven females, and the median age was 65 years (range 29-76). Fifty-six percent of patients had adenocarcinoma, and 31% had squamous cell carcinoma. Sixty-six percent of patients had stage IV disease, and 34% had stage IIIB disease. Eastern cooperative oncology group (ECOG) performance status was 2-3 in 50%, 1 in 44%, and 0 in 6% of patients. Eight patients (25%) had been previously treated with cisplatin or carboplatin. All patients were symptomatic. Of the 32 patients who received study drug, five (16%) achieved partial response, six (19%) had minor response, three (9%) had stable disease, and 15 (47%) progressed. The median overall survival was 27 weeks. Thirty-one patients were evaluable for toxicity: seven patients (23%) had grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia with no bleeding; four patients (13%) had grade 3-4 neutropenia with no febrile neutropenia, and three patients (10%) had grade 3 anemia. Two patients (6%) had grade 3, and six patients (19%) had grade 1-2 neurotoxicity.


The combination of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin seems to be well tolerated and active in patients with poor prognosis advanced NSCLC and deserves further evaluation in phase II clinical trials.

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