Gemcitabine in hematologic malignancies

Curr Opin Oncol. 2001 Nov;13(6):514-21. doi: 10.1097/00001622-200111000-00015.


Gemcitabine is a pyrimidine analogue that showed significant activity in solid malignancies. Gemcitabine acts by inhibiting DNA synthesis through chain termination and ribonucleotide reductase inhibition. During initial phase I and II studies, gemcitabine had a low toxicity profile and was well tolerated as a single agent and in combination therapy. Recently, there has been more interest in studying the activity of gemcitabine in hematologic malignancies. Gemcitabine demonstrated good activity in refractory Hodgkin disease patients, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and acute leukemias. There is a preponderance of evidence on the activity of gemcitabine in vitro in myeloma and leukemic cell lines. The activity of gemcitabine in these disorders will pave the way for incorporating this agent into the early phases of therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / metabolism
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / metabolism
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • DNA
  • gemcitabine