Preliminary results of phase II study of capecitabine and gemcitabine (CAP-GEM) in patients with metastatic pretreated thymic epithelial tumors (TETs)

Ann Oncol. 2010 Jun;21(6):1168-1172. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp483. Epub 2009 Oct 30.


Background: No previous prospective trials have been reported with capecitabine and gemcitabine (CAP-GEM) in patients with metastatic thymic epithelial tumors (TETs). We conducted a multicenter study to determine the activity and tolerability of this regimen in pretreated TETs.

Patients and methods: A total of 15 patients were enrolled in the first stage of phase II study. All patients received CAP-GEM every 3 weeks. The primary end point was objective response rate (RR); secondary end points were toxicity, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival.

Results: Complete responses (CR) and partial responses were observed in three (20%) and three (20%) patients for a 40% RR, respectively. Grade 1-2 neutropenia, anemia and thrombocytopenia were the most common side-effects, noted in seven (46.7%), five (33.3%) and five (33.3%) patients, respectively. The most common grade 3 toxicity was neutropenia in three patients (20%). Median PFS was 11 months (95% confidence interval 4-17). The 1- and 2-year survival rates were 80% and 67%, respectively.

Conclusion: We have decided to publish the preliminary results because this regimen was more active than that expected. Although our results are preliminary, CAP-GEM shows activity and safety in pretreated TETs. Furthermore, multicenter trials, also in first-line setting, are necessary to confirm our results.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Capecitabine
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thymus Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Thymus Neoplasms / pathology


  • Deoxycytidine
  • Capecitabine
  • gemcitabine
  • Fluorouracil