Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) still remains incurable and the goals of treatment are to prolong survival while controlling symptoms and minimizing toxicity. We evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of Gemcitabine (GEM) in MBC patients at our institute.Methods
Clinical data from 17 MBC patients treated with GEM alone or with trastuzumab (in HER2 overexpressing patients) were retrospectively examined. Patient and tumor characteristics, best overall response, time to progression (TTP), adverse effects (CTCAE) were examined.Results
Median age was 62 (40–81) and 5 (29%) received trastuzumab in combination with GEM. 15 were recurrent MBC after surgery and 9 (60%) had had adjuvant chemotherapy, with 7 receiving an anthracycline or a taxane. Median number of previous treatments was 3 regimens (range: 1 ∼ 8 regimens). Best overall response was 1 CR (5.9%), 1 PR (5.9%), 4 SD (23.5%), 11 PD (64.7%) with a response rate of 11.7% and a clinical benefit rate of 17.6%. Median TTP was 3 months (range: 1–8 months). Adverse effects were three cases of grade 2 diarrhea, one case of fatigue, three cases of grade 3 neutropenia. Dose modification and delayed administrations were caused by neutropenia, diarrhea, and fatigue. Among the six responders, GEM was administered earlier (first or second line as MBC treatment) in four cases, but for the others, GEM was the sixth and seventh regimen.Conclusion
GEM was well tolerated and could be a choice of treatment even in later regimens in MBC.