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Invest New Drugs. 1994;12(2):111-9.

Weekly gemcitabine in advanced or metastatic solid tumors. A clinical phase I study.

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Division of Medical Oncology, Istituto Regina Elena per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Rome, Italy.


Gemcitabine (GEM) is a novel deoxycytidine analogue which has shown promising antitumor activity in solid tumor models and a broad range of schedule-dependent MTDs (12-4560 mg/m2) in preliminary clinical studies. The present phase I trial evaluated escalating doses of weekly GEM using a 30-min infusion at a starting dose-level of 300 mg/m2/wk x 3 every 28 days. At least 3 patients entered each dose-level step and 3 more cases were treated when significant toxicity was seen. A total of 39 patients with various advanced solid tumors and prior chemotherapy entered this study. Six escalation steps (102 courses) were tested to define the MTD at 1,370 mg/m2/wk. No definite dose-effect relationships were observed for myelosuppression up to 1,095 mg/m2/wk. However, increased severity of leucopenia (dose-limiting) and greater non-hematologic toxicity as well as a higher number of toxic treatment delays, requiring subsequent dose attenuation in 6 out of 12 patients, were observed at 1,370 mg/m2/wk. In all, 6 out of 11 patients experiencing WHO grade > or = 3 toxicity (11/21 events recorded in 11/18 courses) were treated at the MTD. Clinically significant toxicity included (patients with WHO grade 2-3): leucopenia (44%), thrombocytopenia (26%), anemia (23%), fever (69%), emesis (38%) and AST/ALT rise (26%). Mild proteinuria, ankle edema, skin rash, hair loss and mucositis were seen in < or = 5%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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