Randomized phase II/III trial assessing gemcitabine/carboplatin and methotrexate/carboplatin/vinblastine in patients with advanced urothelial cancer who are unfit for cisplatin-based chemotherapy: EORTC study 30986

J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jan 10;30(2):191-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.37.3571. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


Purpose: This is the first randomized phase II/III trial comparing two carboplatin-based chemotherapy regimens in patients with urothelial cancer who are ineligible ("unfit") for cisplatin chemotherapy.

Patients and methods: The primary objective of the phase III part of this study was to compare the overall survival (OS) of chemotherapy-naive patients with measurable disease and an impaired renal function (glomerular filtration rate < 60 but > 30 mL/min) and/or performance score of 2 who were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine/carboplatin (GC) or methotrexate/carboplatin/vinblastine (M-CAVI). To detect an increase of 50% in median survival with GC compared with M-CAVI (13.5 v 9 months) based on a two-sided log-rank test at error rates α = .05 and β = .20, 225 patients were required. Secondary end points were overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), toxicity, and quality of life.

Results: In all, 238 patients were randomly assigned by 29 institutions over a period of 7 years. The median follow-up was 4.5 years. Best ORRs were 41.2% (36.1% confirmed response) for patients receiving GC versus 30.3% (21.0% confirmed response) for patients receiving M-CAVI (P = .08). Median OS was 9.3 months in the GC arm and 8.1 months in the M-CAVI arm (P = .64). There was no difference in PFS (P = .78) between the two arms. Severe acute toxicity (death, grade 4 thrombocytopenia with bleeding, grade 3 or 4 renal toxicity, neutropenic fever, or mucositis) was observed in 9.3% of patients receiving GC and 21.2% of patients receiving M-CAVI.

Conclusion: There were no significant differences in efficacy between the two treatment groups. The incidence of severe acute toxicities was higher for those receiving M-CAVI.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin
  • Contraindications
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate
  • Urologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Vinblastine / administration & dosage


  • Deoxycytidine
  • Vinblastine
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin
  • Methotrexate
  • Gemcitabine