A dose-escalation and pharmacokinetic study of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin in patients with advanced solid tumors

Ann Oncol. 2003 Feb;14(2):304-12. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdg063.


Background: Gemcitabine and oxaliplatin have broad antineoplastic activity and favorable toxicity. We conducted a phase I study to determine the maximum tolerated doses (MTDs) and dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of the combination in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Patients and methods: Sixty-eight patients with advanced stage solid tumors were enrolled. Treatment was first-line for 35% of patients, second-line for 27%, and third-line for 38%. Gemcitabine was administered at escalating doses of 1000-2000 mg/m(2) as a 30-min intravenous (i.v.) infusion on days 1 and 8 and oxaliplatin at 60-130 mg/m(2) as a 4-h i.v. infusion on day 8 every 21 days without growth factor support.

Results: The MTD was defined at gemcitabine 1800 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 and oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 8. Twelve dose levels were evaluated and DLTs occurring during the first cycle consisted of grade 4 neutropenia, grade 3 asthenia or mucositis and grade 1-3 neutropenia or thrombocytopenia resulting in treatment delays. A total of 266 cycles were administered with only one episode of febrile neutropenia and no toxic deaths. Seven (3%) and 26 (10%) cycles were complicated by grade 4 and 3 neutropenia, respectively, three (1%) and 13 (5%) by grade 4 and 3 thrombocytopenia, and eight (3%) by grade 3 anemia. The most common non-hematological toxicity was grade 2/3 asthenia observed in 23% of cycles. Responses were observed in patients with a variety of epithelial neoplasms. The pharmacokinetic study revealed no significant interaction between the two drugs.

Conclusions: The combination of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin has excellent tolerability and promising activity in patients with advanced solid tumors. As the MTD exceeds the recommended single-agent dose for gemcitabine, and a dose-response effect has not been established, we recommend using both drugs at full doses, e.g. gemcitabine 1200-1400 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 and oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 8 for further phase II studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / adverse effects
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Oxaliplatin


  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Gemcitabine