Phase II study of pemetrexed-gemcitabine combination in patients with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer

Christian Monnerat, Thierry Le Chevalier, Karen Kelly, Coleman K. Obasaju, Julie Brahmer, Silvia Novello, Takashi Nakamura, Astra M. Liepa, Laurence Bozec, Paul A. Bunn, David S. Ettinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cisplatin is one of the most active agents for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is also known for significant toxicity, which makes it unsuitable for certain patients. Our purpose was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a promising cisplatin-free combination, gemcitabine plus pemetrexed, in NSCLC. Experimental Design: Chemo-naive patients with inoperable NSCLC were eligible for this study. Gemcitabine (1250 mg/m 2) was given intravenously on days 1 and 8, followed by intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) on day 8. After inclusion of 13 patients, folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation was added to lower pemetrexed-induced toxicity. Quality of life was assessed with the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale. Results: Sixty patients enrolled; 58 were evaluable for response. All patients had a World Health Organization performance status of 0 or 1. Eighty-seven percent had stage IV disease. Nine patients had a confirmed partial response [overall response rate, 15.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 7.3-27.4%]. Twenty-nine (50.0%) patients had stable disease. Median overall survival was 10.1 months (95% CI, 7.9-13.0 months), with a 1- and 2-year overall survival of 42.6% (95% CI, 30.0-55.3%) and 18.5% (95% CI, 7.9-29.1%). Median progression-free survival was 5.0 months. Median response duration was 3.3 months. There were no deaths attributed to treatment. Common Toxicity Criteria grade 3/4 toxicities were neutropenia (61.7%), febrile neutropenia (16.7%), fatigue (23.3%), and elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (15.0%) and alanine aminotransferase (20.0%). Conclusions: This combination had good tolerance and achieved promising overall survival with extended 1- and 2-year survival rates. This cisplatin-free regimen warrants further evaluation in randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5439-5446
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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