Laessig, D.; Stemmler, H. J.; Vehling-Kaiser, U.; Fasching, P. A.; Melchert, F.; Koelbl, H.; Stauch, M.; Maubach, P.; Scharl, A.; Morack, G.; Meerpohl, H.; Weber, B.; Kalischefski, B.; Heinemann, Volker
Gemcitabine and carboplatin in intensively pretreated patients with metastatic breast cancer.
In: Oncology, No. 5-6: pp. 407-414
Background: Patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) are increasingly exposed to anthracyclines and taxanes either during treatment of primary breast cancer or during initial therapy of metastatic disease. The combination of gemcitabine and carboplatin was therefore investigated as an anthracycline- and taxane-free treatment option. Patients and Methods: MBC patients previously treated with chemotherapy were enrolled in a multicenter phase II study. Treatment consisted of gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) i.v. on days 1 and 8) and carboplatin (AUC 4 i.v. on day 1) applied every 3 weeks. Results: Thirty-nine patients were recruited, and a total of 207 treatment cycles were applied with a median of 5 cycles per patient. One complete response and 11 partial responses were observed for an overall response rate of 31% (95% CI: 17-48%). Twelve patients (31%) had stable disease. Median time to progression was 5.3 months (95% CI: 2.6-6.7 months) and median overall survival from start of treatment was 13.2 months (95% CI: 8.7-16.7 months). Grade 3/4 hematological toxicity included leukopenia (59%/5%), thrombo-cytopenia (26%/23%) and anemia (10%/0%). Nonhematological toxicity was rarely severe. Conclusion: Combination chemotherapy with gemcitabine and carboplatin is an effective and generally well-tolerated treatment option for intensively pretreated patients with MBC. Due to a considerable incidence of severe thrombocytopenia it would be reasonable to consider starting gemcitabine at the lower dose level of 800 mg/m(2). Copyright (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.