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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 49

of 'Chemotherapy in castration-resistant prostate cancer'

Response and palliation in a phase II trial of gemcitabine in hormone-refractory metastatic prostatic carcinoma. Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK).
Morant R, Bernhard J, Maibach R, Borner M, Fey MF, Thürlimann B, Jacky E, Trinkler F, Bauer J, Zulian G, Hanselmann S, Hürny C, Hering F
Ann Oncol. 2000;11(2):183.
BACKGROUND: In a phase II trial, 43 patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer were treated with gemcitabine at a dose of 1,200 mg/m2 over 2 hours (later decreased to 1,000 mg/m2 due to hematological toxicity) on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28 day cycle.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Inclusion criteria were proven tumor progression after hormonal treatment and increased PSA levels, a WHO PS<or = 2, adequate bone marrow reserve, liver and renal function and age<or =, 80 years. Response criteria were based on PSA levels (CR: normalization of PSA, PR:>50% decrease). Quality of life (QL) was assessed with the EORTC QLQ-C30 on day 1 of each treatment cycle and on day 8 of the first cycle (range of scales 0-100). Physician-rated pain intensity and use of pain medication were assessed at the same timepoints.
RESULTS: Hematological toxicity of gemcitabine led to a dose-reduction in 48% of all cycles. Three of forty-three patients (RR = 7%) showed a PSA response: one CR and three PR with time to treatment failure of 8.7, 6.6 and>or = 9.3 months. Seven patients (16%) had stable disease (NC) for a median duration of 7.1 months (range 6.1-11.7 months). There was one case with objective regression of lymph node metastases. Patients reported a considerably impaired health status/QL (n = 41, median = 50) and severe fatigue (n = 41, median = 55.6) at baseline, with no change under treatment. Pain (QLQ-C30) was also severe at baseline (N=41, median=50) but was improved at the end of cycles 1 (n = 33, median change = -16.7, P = 0.0002), 2 (n = 19, median change = -33.3, P = 0.0006), 3 (n = 14, median change = -16.7, P = 0.06) and 4 (n = 9, median change = -33.3, P = 0.04). Patient-rated pain and use of analgesics as combined endpoint yielded palliation for at least 8 weeks in 14 patients (32%). Nine of these patients showed at least stable disease (CR/PR or NC by PSA level), five indicated a benefit in spite of progressive disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Gemcitabine in the dose and schedule indicated above has a significant beneficial impact on pain in patients with hormone-refractory prostatic carcinoma despite its limited activity in terms of PSA response and considerable, especially hematological, toxicity.