Treatment Outcomes of Gemcitabine in Refractory or Recurrent pithelial Ovarian Cancer Patients


Background: To study the response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS) and toxicity profiles of recurrent pithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients treated with gemcitabine. Materials and
Methods: Recurrent EOC patients who were treated with gemcitabine between January 2000 and December 2013 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine Vajira Hospital were identified and medical records were reviewed. Clinico-pathological features including data of gemcitabine treatment, response and toxicity were collected.
Results: We identified 43 EOC patients who had gemcitabine treatment. All except one patient who did not receive any adjuvant treatment, had received platinum-based chemotherapy. Among these 42 patients, 31.0% had refractory cancer to first-line chemotherapy while 69.0% had recurrence with 48.8% being platinumsensitive. The total cycles of gemcitabine used were 203 (median 4, range 2-9 cycles). Overall RR was 11.6%: 19% in platinum-sensitive vs 4.5% in platinum-resistant groups (p=0.158) and 42.9% in the patients having gemcitabine together with platinum vs 5.6% using gemcitabine alone (P=0.024). Median PFS was 3.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.73-4.49 months): 8.1 months (95% CI, 2.73-4.49 months) in combination regimen vs 3.2 months (95% CI, 2.01-4.42 months) in single regimen (p=0.077) and 8.1 months (95% CI, 4.73-11.48 months) with the gemcitabine combination vs 2.7 months (95% CI, 1.98-3.38 months) by single gemcitabine in platinum sensitive patients (P=0.007). Common toxicities were hematologic which were well tolerated and manageable.
Conclusions: Gemcitabine has modest activity in pre-treated EOC. A combination regimen had higher activity than single agent in platinum sensitive patients with a significant improvement in RR and PFS.