Gemcitabine in the treatment of advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium

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M-VAC (cisplatin, methotrexate, adriamycin, vinblastine) combination chemotherapy has been for long time the standard of care in fit patient with advanced urothelial tumors. Gemcitabine/cisplatin with similar results and an improved toxicity profile has proved to be a new standard alternative. Whether or not we can improve survival with newer triplet regimens will depend upon the results of ongoing phase III trials. In addition to the new active drug combinations and targeted therapies, new approaches are emerging for treatment. Chemotherapy optimization using molecular markers predicting chemosensitivity are being applied. There is an obvious need to incorporate in clinical trials a systematic translational approach to explain both our successes and our failures.

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