Gemcitabine as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer: A phase II trial

Martin Blackstein, C. L. Vogel, R. Ambinder, J. Cowan, J. Iglesias, A. Melemed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Objectives: This phase II study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Methods: Women with histologically or cytologically confirmed bidimensionally measurable MBC not amendable to curative surgery or radiation were eligible. Prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease was not permitted. Patients received gemcitabine 1,200 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15 for 3 weeks every 28 days for a maximum of 8 cycles. Results: Thirty-nine patients, with a median age of 58 years, were enrolled. The overall response rate for the 35 evaluable patients was 37.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 21.5-55.1%), with 2 complete responses and 11 partial responses. Median time to progression and survival were 5.1 months (95% CI, 3.5-8.8 months) and 21.1 months (95% CI, 11.0-26.9 months), respectively. Chemotherapy was well tolerated, with a median of 4 cycles completed. Grade 4 toxicities were 1 infection and 1 abnormal pulmonary function. Grade 3 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 30.3% and 6.3% of patients, respectively. The most common grade 3 non-hematologic toxicity was nausea/vomiting (10.3%). Five of 21 patients had improved Karnofsky performance status (KPS) scores. Conclusion: Single-agent gemcitabine is active and well tolerated as first-line treatment in patients with MBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 14 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • First-line therapy
  • Gemcitabine
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Monotherapy
  • Phase II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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