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01.12.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2017

International Journal of Clinical Oncology 6/2017

Gemcitabine monotherapy in patients with heavily treated nasopharyngeal cancer: a case series

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Clinical Oncology > Ausgabe 6/2017
Autoren:
Tomohiro Enokida, Shinya Uozumi, Takao Fujisawa, Yuri Ueda, Susumu Okano, Makoto Tahara

Abstract

Background

Although gemcitabine is thought to play a critical role in the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer, no research to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of gemcitabine monotherapy has been conducted in Japan.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed eight nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients treated with gemcitabine monotherapy at National Cancer Center Hospital East between May 2015 and August 2016. The main eligibility criteria were (1) histopathologically proven NPC; (2) tumor recurrence or an initial M1 TNM stage diagnosis; (3) at least two other types of systemic chemotherapy prior to gemcitabine; (4) no other active malignant tumor during treatment.

Results

All patients were administered gemcitabine 800–1000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15, repeated every 4 weeks. Gemcitabine was given as third-line systemic chemotherapy in six (74%) patients, as fourth-line in one (13%) and as fifth-line in one (13%). One patient had a complete response and one had a partial response, giving an overall response rate of 25%; four patients (50%) had stable disease and two (25%) experienced disease progression. The main toxicity was myelosuppression, with grade 3 leukopenia in three (38%) patients and neutropenia in four (50%). There were no treatment-related deaths. Median dose intensity and relative dose intensity of gemcitabine were 620 mg/m2/week and 97.5%, respectively.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that GEM monotherapy is well tolerated and has potential as an active agent in Japanese patients with recurrent/metastatic NPC who have been heavily pretreated.

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