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Gemcitabine - Cisplatin regimen

Abstract: Randomized phase III study of gemcitabine-cisplatin versus etoposide-cisplatin in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.

PURPOSE: We conducted a randomized trial to compare gemcitabine-cisplatin with etoposide-cisplatin in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The primary end point of the comparison was response rate. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 135 chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced NSCLC were randomized to receive either gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) days 1 and 8 or etoposide 100 mg/m2 IV days 1 to 3 along with cisplatin 100 mg/m2 IV day 1. Both treatments were administered in 21-day cycles. One hundred thirty-three patients were included in the intent-to-treat analysis of response. RESULTS: The response rate (externally validated) for patients given gemcitabine-cisplatin was superior to that for patients given etoposide-cisplatin (40.6% v 21.9%; P = .02). This superior response rate was associated with a significant delay in time to disease progression (6.9 months v 4.3 months; P = .01) without an impairment in quality of life (QOL). There was no statistically significant difference in survival time between both arms (8.7 months for gemcitabine-cisplatin v 7.2 months for etoposide-cisplatin; P = .18). The overall toxicity profile for both combinations of drugs was similar. Nausea and vomiting were reported more frequently in the gemcitabine arm than in the etoposide arm. However, the difference was not significant. Gemcitabine-cisplatin produced less grade 3 alopecia (13% v 51%) and less grade 4 neutropenia (28% v 56% ) but more grade 3 and 4 thrombocytopenia (56% v 13%) than did etoposide-cisplatin. However, there were no thrombocytopenia-related complications in the gemcitabine arm. CONCLUSION: Compared with etoposide-cisplatin, gemcitabine-cisplatin provides a significantly higher response rate and a delay in disease progression without impairing QOL in patients with advanced NSCLC.


Cardenal F, Lopez-Cabrerizo MP, Anton A, Alberola V, Massuti B, Carrato A, Barneto I, Lomas M, Garcia M, Lianes P, Montalar J, Vadell C, Gonzalez-Larriba JL, Nguyen B, Artal A, Rosell R. Randomized phase III study of gemcitabine-cisplatin versus etoposide-cisplatin in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.J Clin Oncol. 1999 Jan;17(1):12-8.

Sandler AB, Nemunaitis J, Denham C, von Pawel J, Cormier Y, Gatzemeier U, Mattson K, Manegold C, Palmer MC, Gregor A, Nguyen B, Niyikiza C, Einhorn LH. Phase III trial of gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus cisplatin alone in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2000 Jan;18(1):122-30.

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Gemcitabine....... 1000 mg / M2 IV days 1,8,15
Cisplatin....... 100 mg / M2 IV day 1
FREQUENCY every 28 days

  Overall Response Rate  
  Progression Free Survival  
  Overall Survival  

Article reviewed by:

Dr. Tamer Fouad, M.D.


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