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Practical Use of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin Combination Therapy as First-Line Treatment for Japanese Patients with Advanced Biliary Tract Cancer

DOI: 10.4236/jct.2013.46121, PP. 1068-1073

Keywords: Gemcitabine, Cisplatin, Chemotherapy, Biliary Tract Cancer

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Abstract:

Gemcitabine and cisplatin combination therapy (GC) is accepted as a standard treatment for advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC). However, little information is available regarding such treatment in the clinical practice setting in Japan. We retrospectively examined the clinical data of patients with unresectable or recurrent BTC who received GC as first-line treatment. The regimen consisted of cisplatin (25 mg/m2) and gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2) administered intravenously on days 1 and 8 of repeated 3-week cycles. Twenty patients were analyzed. A total of 148 cycles of GC was administered, with a median of 8 and a range of 1 to 18 cycles. Treatment delay and dose reduction were noted in 35 (24%) and 41 (28%) of the 148 cycles, respectively. The major adverse events of grade 3 or 4 included neutropenia (50%), leukopenia (45%), anemia (30%), and thrombocytopenia (15%). Nonhematologic toxicities included nausea (10%), appetite loss (10%), and fatigue (10%). Median progression-free and overall survival times were 6.9 and 12.3 months, respectively. Gallbladder cancer showed a significantly higher response rate than did other types of BTC (chi-squaretest, P = 0.002). GC was thus effective and well tolerated as first-line chemotherapy for Japanese patients with advanced BTC in the clinical practice setting.

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