Phase II study of weekly gemcitabine in advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Respir Med. 1997 Aug;91(7):423-6. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(97)90257-2.


New active agents are needed to develop effective systemic therapy against Stage IIIB-IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy and toxicity of gemcitabine, a novel nucleoside analogue with significant preclinical activity, as a single-agent therapy. Forty-three patients with previously untreated Stage IIIB-IV NSCLC were included. Gemcitabine was administered intravenously over 30 min on Days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28-day cycle at a dose of 1250 mg m-2. Thirty-seven patients were evaluable for response. There were seven partial responses giving an overall response rate of 19% (95% confidence interval 8-35%). Median duration of response was 6 months. One-year survival and median survival for all patients were 33% and 8 months, respectively. Toxicity of the treatment was mild. World Health Organization (WHO) Grade 3-4 leukopenia was detected in 11% of the patients. Mild (WHO Grade 1-2) nausea was the most frequent subjective side-effect with a rate of 82%. Mild rash and peripheral oedema were typical side-effects of gemcitabine with rates of 19 and 9%, respectively. In conclusion, single-agent gemcitabine is an active and well-tolerated treatment for Stage IIIB-IV NSCLC patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Gemcitabine