Randomized phase II comparison of dose-intense gemcitabine: thirty-minute infusion and fixed dose rate infusion in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma

J Clin Oncol. 2003 Sep 15;21(18):3402-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2003.09.140. Epub 2003 Jul 28.


Purpose: To conduct a randomized phase II trial of dose-intense gemcitabine using a standard 30-minute infusion or the fixed dose rate (FDR) infusion (10 mg/m2/min) in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Patients and methods: In this prospective trial, patients with locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were treated with 2,200 mg/m2 gemcitabine over 30 minutes (standard arm) or 1,500 mg/m2 gemcitabine over 150 minutes (FDR arm) on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 4-week cycle. The primary end point of this trial was time to treatment failure. Secondary end points included time to progression, median survival, safety, and pharmacokinetic studies of gemcitabine.

Results: Ninety-two patients were enrolled onto this study; 91% of the patients had metastatic disease. Time to treatment failure was comparable in both treatment groups; however, the median survival for all patients was 5.0 months in the standard arm and 8.0 months in the FDR arm (P =.013). For patients with metastases, the median survival was 4.9 months in the standard arm and 7.3 months in FDR arm (P =.094). The 1- and 2-year survival rates for all patients were 9% (standard arm) versus 28.8% (FDR; P =.014) and 2.2% (standard arm) versus 18.3% (FDR; P =.007), respectively. Patients in the FDR infusion arm experienced consistently more hematologic toxicity. Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated a two-fold increase in intracellular gemcitabine triphosphate concentration in the FDR arm (P =.046).

Conclusion: Pharmacokinetic and clinical data in this trial supports the continued evaluation of the FDR infusion strategy with gemcitabine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage*
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Failure


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine