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The aim of this study was to determine the toxicity profile, the recommended dose (RD) and the pharmacokinetic parameters, and to evaluate the antitumor activity of gemcitabine combined with oxaliplatin in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and ovarian carcinoma (OC).Gemcitabine was administered as a 30-min infusion followed by a 2-h infusion of oxaliplatin, repeated every 2 weeks. Doses of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin ranged from 800 to 1500 and 70 to 100 mg/m2, respectively.Forty-four patients (26 males, 18 females; median age 55 years) including 35 NSCLC (five platinum pretreated) and nine OC patients (all platinum pretreated) received a total of 355 cycles. All patients were evaluable for toxicity. No dose-limiting toxicity at any dose level occurred during the first two cycles; therefore, the highest dose-level of gemcitabine (1500 mg/m2) and oxaliplatin (85 mg/m2) was considered as the RD. Hematological toxicity was moderate amongst the 22 patients treated (167 cycles) at that dose level. Thirteen cycles were associated with grade 3-4 non-febrile neutropenia in six patients, and eight cycles with grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in two patients. Other toxicities were mild to moderate, consisting of asthenia and peripheral neurotoxicity. Four of the 35 patients treated with oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 experienced grade 3 neurotoxicity requiring treatment discontinuation at cycle 10. In the range of the doses used, gemcitabine and its main metabolite 2′,2′-difluorodeoxyuridine appeared not to be affected by oxaliplatin 70-100 mg/m2. Of the 44 patients evaluable for activity, 12 NSCLC patients experienced objective responses (one complete and 11 partial responses) and three OC patients showed tumor stabilization lasting for 6 months with a 50% decrease of CA 125 level. Two partial responses (NSCLC) and one tumor stabilization (OC) occurred in platinum-resistant patients.The combination of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin could be safely administered on an out-patient schedule in patients with advanced NSCLC and OC. The RD was gemcitabine 1500 mg/m2 and oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 every 2 weeks. Promising antitumor activity was reported in patients with NSCLC and platinum-pretreated OC, and thus, deserves further evaluation.