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These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Gemcitabine for Injection, USP safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Gemcitabine for Injection, USP. Gemcitabine (gemcitabine hydrochloride) for Injection, Powder, Ly | Gemcitabine

05:20 EDT 27th August 2014 | BioPortfolio

Note: While we endeavour to keep our records up-to-date one should not rely on these details being accurate without first consulting a professional. Click here to read our full medical disclaimer.

Gemcitabine in combination with carboplatin is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least 6 months after completion of platinum-based therapy.

Gemcitabine in combination with paclitaxel is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy, unless anthracyclines were clinically contraindicated.

Gemcitabine is indicated in combination with cisplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with inoperable, locally advanced (Stage IIIA or IIIB), or metastatic (Stage IV) non-small cell lung cancer.

Gemcitabine is indicated as first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced (nonresectable Stage II or Stage III) or metastatic (Stage IV) adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Gemcitabine is indicated for patients previously treated with 5-FU.

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is for intravenous use only. Gemcitabine for Injection, USP may be administered on an outpatient basis.

Gemcitabine should be administered intravenously at a dose of 1000 mg/mover 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Carboplatin AUC 4 should be administered intravenously on Day 1 after gemcitabine administration. Patients should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count, including differential counts. Patients should have an absolute granulocyte count ≥1500 x 10/L and a platelet count ≥100,000 x 10/L prior to each cycle. 

Dose Modifications

Gemcitabine dosage adjustment for hematological toxicity within a cycle of treatment is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on Day 8 of therapy. If marrow suppression is detected, gemcitabine dosage should be modified according to guidelines in Table 1.

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except nausea/vomiting, therapy with gemcitabine should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. For carboplatin dosage adjustment, see manufacturer’s prescribing information.

Dose adjustment for gemcitabine in combination with carboplatin for subsequent cycles is based upon observed toxicity. The dose of gemcitabine in subsequent cycles should be reduced to 800 mg/mon Days 1 and 8 in case of any of the following hematologic toxicities:

If any of the above toxicities recur after the initial dose reduction, for the subsequent cycle, gemcitabine should be given on Day 1 only at 800 mg/m.

Table 1: Day 8 Dosage Reduction Guidelines for Gemcitabine in Combination with Carboplatin
Absolute granulocyte count
(x 106/L)  
  Platelet count
(x 106/L)  
% of full dose  
≥1500 And ≥100,000 100
1000-1499 And/or 75,000-99,999 50
<1000 And/or <75,000 Hold

Gemcitabine should be administered intravenously at a dose of 1250 mg/m over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Paclitaxel should be administered at 175 mg/m on Day 1 as a 3-hour intravenous infusion before gemcitabine administration. Patients should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count, including differential counts. Patients should have an absolute granulocyte count ≥1500 x 10/L and a platelet count ≥100,000 x 10/L prior to each cycle.

Dose Modifications

Gemcitabine dosage adjustment for hematological toxicity is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on Day 8 of therapy. If marrow suppression is detected, gemcitabine dosage should be modified according to the guidelines in Table 2. 

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except alopecia and nausea/vomiting, therapy with gemcitabine should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. For paclitaxel dosage adjustment, see manufacturer’s prescribing information.

Table 2: Day 8 Dosage Reduction Guidelines for Gemcitabine in Combination with Paclitaxel
Absolute granulocyte count (x 106/L)   Platelet count (x 106/L) % of full dose
≥1200 And >75,000 100
1000-1199 Or 50,000-75,000 75
700-999 And ≥50,000 50
<700 Or <50,000 Hold

Two schedules have been investigated and the optimum schedule has not been determined [see Clinical Studies (14.3)] . With the 4-week schedule, gemcitabine should be administered intravenously at 1000 mg/m over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle. Cisplatin should be administered intravenously at 100 mg/m on Day 1 after the infusion of gemcitabine. With the 3-week schedule, gemcitabine should be administered intravenously at 1250 mg/m over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Cisplatin at a dose of 100 mg/mshould be administered intravenously after the infusion of gemcitabine on Day 1. See prescribing information for cisplatin administration and hydration guidelines.

Dose Modifications

Dosage adjustments for hematologic toxicity may be required for gemcitabine and for cisplatin. Gemcitabine dosage adjustment for hematological toxicity is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on the day of therapy. Patients receiving gemcitabine should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet counts. If marrow suppression is detected, therapy should be modified or suspended according to the guidelines in Table 3. For cisplatin dosage adjustment, see manufacturer’s prescribing information.

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except alopecia and nausea/vomiting, therapy with gemcitabine plus cisplatin should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. During combination therapy with cisplatin, serum creatinine, serum potassium, serum calcium, and serum magnesium should be carefully monitored (Grade 3/4 serum creatinine toxicity for gemcitabine plus cisplatin was 5% versus 2% for cisplatin alone).

Gemcitabine should be administered by intravenous infusion at a dose of 1000 mg/m over 30 minutes once weekly for up to 7 weeks (or until toxicity necessitates reducing or holding a dose), followed by a week of rest from treatment. Subsequent cycles should consist of infusions once weekly for 3 consecutive weeks out of every 4 weeks.

Dose Modifications

Dosage adjustment is based upon the degree of hematologic toxicity experienced by the patient [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] . Clearance in women and the elderly is reduced and women were somewhat less able to progress to subsequent cycles [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .

Patients receiving gemcitabine should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet count. If marrow suppression is detected, therapy should be modified or suspended according to the guidelines in Table 3. 

Laboratory evaluation of renal and hepatic function, including transaminases and serum creatinine, should be performed prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter. Gemcitabine should be administered with caution in patients with evidence of significant renal or hepatic impairment as there is insufficient information from clinical studies to allow clear dose recommendation for these patient populations.

Patients treated with gemcitabine who complete an entire cycle of therapy may have the dose for subsequent cycles increased by 25%, provided that the absolute granulocyte count (AGC) and platelet nadirs exceed 1500 x 10/L and 100,000 x 10/L, respectively, and if non-hematologic toxicity has not been greater than WHO Grade 1. If patients tolerate the subsequent course of gemcitabine at the increased dose, the dose for the next cycle can be further increased by 20%, provided again that the AGC and platelet nadirs exceed 1500 x 10/L and 100,000 x 10/L, respectively, and that non-hematologic toxicity has not been greater than WHO Grade 1.

Table 3: Dosage Reduction Guidelines
Absolute granulocyte count (x 106/L)   Platelet count (x 106/L) % of full dose
≥1000 And ≥100,000 100
500-999 Or 50,000-99,999 75
<500 Or <50,000 Hold

Caution should be exercised in handling and preparing gemcitabine solutions. The use of gloves is recommended. If gemcitabine solution contacts the skin or mucosa, immediately wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water or rinse the mucosa with copious amounts of water. Although acute dermal irritation has not been observed in animal studies, 2 of 3 rabbits exhibited drug-related systemic toxicities (death, hypoactivity, nasal discharge, shallow breathing) due to dermal absorption.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anti-cancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published [see References (15)] .

The recommended diluent for reconstitution of Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection without preservatives. Due to solubility considerations, the maximum concentration for gemcitabine upon reconstitution is 40 mg/mL. Reconstitution at concentrations greater than 40 mg/mL may result in incomplete dissolution, and should be avoided.

To reconstitute, add 5 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 200-mg vial or 25 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 1-g vial. Shake to dissolve. These dilutions each yield a gemcitabine concentration of 38 mg/mL which includes accounting for the displacement volume of the lyophilized powder (0.26 mL for the 200-mg vial or 1.3 mL for the 1-g vial). The total volume upon reconstitution will be 5.26 mL or 26.3 mL, respectively. Complete withdrawal of the vial contents will provide 200 mg or 1 g of gemcitabine, respectively. Prior to administration the appropriate amount of drug must be diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection. Final concentrations may be as low as 0.1 mg/mL.

Reconstituted Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is a clear, colorless to light straw-colored solution. After reconstitution with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, the pH of the resulting solution lies in the range of 2.7 to 3.3. The solution should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution or container permit. If particulate matter or discoloration is found, do not administer.

When prepared as directed, gemcitabine solutions are stable for 24 hours at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Discard unused portion. Solutions of reconstituted gemcitabine should not be refrigerated, as crystallization may occur.

The compatibility of gemcitabine with other drugs has not been studied. No incompatibilities have been observed with infusion bottles or polyvinyl chloride bags and administration sets.

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is a white to off-white lyophilized powder available in sterile single-use vials containing 200 mg or 1 g gemcitabine.

Gemcitabine is contraindicated in those patients with a known hypersensitivity to the drug.

Patients receiving therapy with gemcitabine should be monitored closely by a physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Caution - Prolongation of the infusion time beyond 60 minutes and more frequent than weekly dosing have been shown to increase toxicity [see Clinical Studies (14.5)] .

Gemcitabine can suppress bone marrow function as manifested by leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)] , and myelosuppression is usually the dose-limiting toxicity.  Patients should be monitored for myelosuppression during therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4)].

Pulmonary toxicity has been reported with the use of gemcitabine. In cases of severe lung toxicity, gemcitabine therapy should be discontinued immediately and appropriate supportive care measures instituted [see Adverse Reactions (6.1 and 6.2)] .

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and/or renal failure have been reported following one or more doses of gemcitabine. Renal failure leading to death or requiring dialysis, despite discontinuation of therapy, has been reported. The majority of the cases of renal failure leading to death were due to HUS [see Adverse Reactions (6.1 and 6.2)].

Gemcitabine should be used with caution in patients with preexisting renal impairment as there is insufficient information from clinical studies to allow clear dose recommendation for these patient populations [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

Serious hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death, has been reported in patients receiving gemcitabine alone or in combination with other potentially hepatotoxic drugs [see Adverse Reactions (6.1 and 6.2)].

Gemcitabine should be used with caution in patients with preexisting hepatic insufficiency as there is insufficient information from clinical studies to allow clear dose recommendation for these patient populations. Administration of gemcitabine in patients with concurrent liver metastases or a preexisting medical history of hepatitis, alcoholism, or liver cirrhosis may lead to exacerbation of the underlying hepatic insufficiency [see Use in Specific Populations (8.7)].

Gemcitabine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. In pre-clinical studies in mice and rabbits, gemcitabine was teratogenic, embryotoxic, and fetotoxic. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of gemcitabine in pregnant women. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Patients receiving gemcitabine should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet count. Suspension or modification of therapy should be considered when marrow suppression is detected [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4)].

Laboratory evaluation of renal and hepatic function should be performed prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].

A pattern of tissue injury typically associated with radiation toxicity has been reported in association with concurrent and non-concurrent use of gemcitabine.

Non-concurrent (given >7 days apart) - Analysis of the data does not indicate enhanced toxicity when gemcitabine is administered more than 7 days before or after radiation, other than radiation recall. Data suggest that gemcitabine can be started after the acute effects of radiation have resolved or at least one week after radiation.

Concurrent (given together or ≤7 days apart) - Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that gemcitabine has radiosensitizing activity. Toxicity associated with this multimodality therapy is dependent on many different factors, including dose of gemcitabine, frequency of gemcitabine administration, dose of radiation, radiotherapy planning technique, the target tissue, and target volume. In a single trial, where gemcitabine at a dose of 1000 mg/m was administered concurrently for up to 6 consecutive weeks with therapeutic thoracic radiation to patients with non-small cell lung cancer, significant toxicity in the form of severe, and potentially life-threatening mucositis, especially esophagitis and pneumonitis was observed, particularly in patients receiving large volumes of radiotherapy [median treatment volumes 4795 cm]. Subsequent studies have been reported and suggest that gemcitabine administered at lower doses with concurrent radiotherapy has predictable and less severe toxicity. However, the optimum regimen for safe administration of gemcitabine with therapeutic doses of radiation has not yet been determined in all tumor types.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Most adverse reactions are reversible and do not need to result in discontinuation, although doses may need to be withheld or reduced.

Gemcitabine has been used in a wide variety of malignancies, both as a single-agent and in combination with other cytotoxic drugs.

Single-Agent Use:

Myelosuppression is the principal dose-limiting toxicity with gemcitabine therapy. Dosage adjustments for hematologic toxicity are frequently needed [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4)] .

The data in Table 4 are based on 979 patients receiving gemcitabine as a single-agent administered weekly as a 30-minute infusion for treatment of a wide variety of malignancies. The gemcitabine starting doses ranged from 800 to 1250 mg/m. Data are also shown for the subset of patients with pancreatic cancer treated in 5 clinical studies. The frequency of all grades and severe (WHO Grade 3 or 4) adverse reactions were generally similar in the single-agent safety database of 979 patients and the subset of patients with pancreatic cancer. Adverse reactions reported in the single-agent safety database resulted in discontinuation of gemcitabine therapy in about 10% of patients. In the comparative trial in pancreatic cancer, the discontinuation rate for adverse reactions was 14.3% for the gemcitabine arm and 4.8% for the 5-FU arm. All WHO-graded laboratory adverse reactions are listed in Table 4, regardless of causality. Non-laboratory adverse reactions listed in Table 4 or discussed below were those reported, regardless of causality, for at least 10% of all patients, except the categories of Extravasation, Allergic, and Cardiovascular and certain specific adverse reactions under the Renal, Pulmonary, and Infection categories.

Hematologic - In studies in pancreatic cancer myelosuppression is the dose-limiting toxicity with gemcitabine, but <1% of patients discontinued therapy for either anemia, leukopenia, or thrombocytopenia. Red blood cell transfusions were required by 19% of patients. The incidence of sepsis was less than 1%. Petechiae or mild blood loss (hemorrhage), from any cause, was reported in 16% of patients; less than 1% of patients required platelet transfusions. Patients should be monitored for myelosuppression during gemcitabine therapy and dosage modified or suspended according to the degree of hematologic toxicity [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4)].

Gastrointestinal - Nausea and vomiting were commonly reported (69%) but were usually of mild to moderate severity. Severe nausea and vomiting (WHO Grade 3/4) occurred in <15% of patients. Diarrhea was reported by 19% of patients, and stomatitis by 11% of patients.

Hepatic - In clinical trials, gemcitabine was associated with transient elevations of one or both serum transaminases in approximately 70% of patients, but there was no evidence of increasing hepatic toxicity with either longer duration of exposure to gemcitabine or with greater total cumulative dose. Serious hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death, has been reported very rarely in patients receiving gemcitabine alone or in combination with other potentially hepatotoxic drugs [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Renal - In clinical trials, mild proteinuria and hematuria were commonly reported. Clinical findings consistent with the Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) were reported in 6 of 2429 patients (0.25%) receiving gemcitabine in clinical trials. Four patients developed HUS on gemcitabine therapy, 2 immediately posttherapy. The diagnosis of HUS should be considered if the patient develops anemia with evidence of microangiopathic hemolysis, elevation of bilirubin or LDH, reticulocytosis, severe thrombocytopenia, and/or evidence of renal failure (elevation of serum creatinine or BUN). Gemcitabine therapy should be discontinued immediately. Renal failure may not be reversible even with discontinuation of therapy and dialysis may be required [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Fever - The overall incidence of fever was 41%. This is in contrast to the incidence of infection (16%) and indicates that gemcitabine may cause fever in the absence of clinical infection. Fever was frequently associated with other flu-like symptoms and was usually mild and clinically manageable.

Rash - Rash was reported in 30% of patients. The rash was typically a macular or finely granular maculopapular pruritic eruption of mild to moderate severity involving the trunk and extremities. Pruritus was reported for 13% of patients.

Pulmonary - In clinical trials, dyspnea, unrelated to underlying disease, has been reported in association with gemcitabine therapy. Dyspnea was occasionally accompanied by bronchospasm. Pulmonary toxicity has been reported with the use of gemcitabine [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. The etiology of these effects is unknown. If such effects develop, gemcitabine should be discontinued. Early use of supportive care measures may help ameliorate these conditions.

Edema - Edema (13%), peripheral edema (20%), and generalized edema (<1%) were reported. Less than 1% of patients discontinued due to edema.

Flu-like Symptoms - "Flu syndrome" was reported for 19% of patients. Individual symptoms of fever, asthenia, anorexia, headache, cough, chills, and myalgia were commonly reported. Fever and asthenia were also reported frequently as isolated symptoms. Insomnia, rhinitis, sweating, and malaise were reported infrequently. Less than 1% of patients discontinued due to flu-like symptoms.

Infection - Infections were reported for 16% of patients. Sepsis was rarely reported (<1%).

Alopecia - Hair loss, usually minimal, was reported by 15% of patients.

Neurotoxicity - There was a 10% incidence of mild paresthesias and a <1% rate of severe paresthesias.

Extravasation - Injection-site related events were reported for 4% of patients. There were no reports of injection site necrosis. Gemcitabine is not a vesicant.

Allergic - Bronchospasm was reported for less than 2% of patients. Anaphylactoid reaction has been reported rarely. Gemcitabine should not be administered to patients with a known hypersensitivity to this drug [see Contraindications (4)] .

Cardiovascular - During clinical trials, 2% of patients discontinued therapy with gemcitabine due to cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, arrhythmia, and hypertension. Many of these patients had a prior history of cardiovascular disease [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)] .

 

Combination Use in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:  

In the gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus cisplatin study, dose adjustments occurred with 35% of gemcitabine injections and 17% of cisplatin injections on the combination arm, versus 6% on the cisplatin-only arm. Dose adjustments were required in greater than 90% of patients on the combination, versus 16% on cisplatin. Study discontinuations for possibly drug-related adverse reactions occurred in 15% of patients on the combination arm and 8% of patients on the cisplatin arm. With a median of 4 cycles of gemcitabine plus cisplatin treatment, 94 of 262 patients (36%) experienced a total of 149 hospitalizations due to possibly treatment-related adverse reactions. With a median of 2 cycles of cisplatin treatment, 61 of 260 patients (23%) experienced 78 hospitalizations due to possibly treatment-related adverse reactions.

In the gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus etoposide plus cisplatin study, dose adjustments occurred with 20% of gemcitabine injections and 16% of cisplatin injections in the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm compared with 20% of etoposide injections and 15% of cisplatin injections in the etoposide plus cisplatin arm. With a median of 5 cycles of gemcitabine plus cisplatin treatment, 15 of 69 patients (22%) experienced 15 hospitalizations due to possibly treatment-related adverse reactions. With a median of 4 cycles of etoposide plus cisplatin treatment, 18 of 66 patients (27%) experienced 22 hospitalizations due to possibly treatment-related adverse reactions. In patients who completed more than one cycle, dose adjustments were reported in 81% of the gemcitabine plus cisplatin patients, compared with 68% on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm. Study discontinuations for possibly drug-related adverse reactions occurred in 14% of patients on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm and in 8% of patients on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm. The incidence of myelosuppression was increased in frequency with gemcitabine plus cisplatin treatment (~90%) compared to that with the gemcitabine monotherapy (~60%). With combination therapy gemcitabine dosage adjustments for hematologic toxicity were required more often while cisplatin dose adjustments were less frequently required.

Table 5 presents the safety data from the gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus cisplatin study in non-small cell lung cancer. The NCI Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) were used. The two-drug combination was more myelosuppressive with 4 (1.5%) possibly treatment-related deaths, including 3 resulting from myelosuppression with infection and one case of renal failure associated with pancytopenia and infection. No deaths due to treatment were reported on the cisplatin arm. Nine cases of febrile neutropenia were reported on the combination therapy arm compared to 2 on the cisplatin arm. More patients required RBC and platelet transfusions on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm.

Myelosuppression occurred more frequently on the combination arm, and in 4 possibly treatment-related deaths myelosuppression was observed. Sepsis was reported in 4% of patients on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm compared to 1% on the cisplatin arm. Platelet transfusions were required in 21% of patients on the combination arm and <1% of patients on the cisplatin arm. Hemorrhagic events occurred in 14% of patients on the combination arm and 4% on the cisplatin arm. However, severe hemorrhagic events were rare. Red blood cell transfusions were required in 39% of the patients on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm, versus 13% on the cisplatin arm. The data suggest cumulative anemia with continued gemcitabine plus cisplatin use.

Nausea and vomiting despite the use of antiemetics occurred more often with gemcitabine plus cisplatin therapy (78%) than with cisplatin alone (71%). In studies with single-agent gemcitabine, a lower incidence of nausea and vomiting (58% to 69%) was reported. Renal function abnormalities, hypomagnesemia, neuromotor, neurocortical, and neurocerebellar toxicity occurred more often with gemcitabine plus cisplatin than with cisplatin monotherapy. Neurohearing toxicity was similar on both arms.

Cardiac dysrrhythmias of Grade 3 or greater were reported in 7 (3%) patients treated with gemcitabine plus cisplatin compared to one (<1%) Grade 3 dysrrhythmia reported with cisplatin therapy. Hypomagnesemia and hypokalemia were associated with one Grade 4 arrhythmia on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin combination arm.

Table 6 presents data from the randomized study of gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus etoposide plus cisplatin in 135 patients with NSCLC. One death (1.5%) was reported on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm due to febrile neutropenia associated with renal failure which was possibly treatment-related. No deaths related to treatment occurred on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm. The overall incidence of Grade 4 neutropenia on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm was less than on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm (28% versus 56%). Sepsis was experienced by 2% of patients on both treatment arms. Grade 3 anemia and Grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia were more common on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm. RBC transfusions were given to 29% of the patients who received gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus 21% of patients who received etoposide plus cisplatin. Platelet transfusions were given to 3% of the patients who received gemcitabine plus cisplatin versus 8% of patients who received etoposide plus cisplatin. Grade 3/4 nausea and vomiting were also more common on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm. On the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm, 7% of participants were hospitalized due to febrile neutropenia compared to 12% on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm. More than twice as many patients had dose reductions or omissions of a scheduled dose of gemcitabine as compared to etoposide, which may explain the differences in the incidence of neutropenia and febrile neutropenia between treatment arms. Flu syndrome was reported by 3% of patients on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm with none reported on the comparator arm. Eight patients (12%) on the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm reported edema compared to one patient (2%) on the etoposide plus cisplatin arm.

 

Combination Use in Breast Cancer:

In the gemcitabine plus paclitaxel versus paclitaxel study, dose reductions occurred with 8% of gemcitabine injections and 5% of paclitaxel injections on the combination arm, versus 2% on the paclitaxel arm. On the combination arm, 7% of gemcitabine doses were omitted and <1% of paclitaxel doses were omitted, compared to <1% of paclitaxel doses on the paclitaxel arm. A total of 18 patients (7%) on the gemcitabine plus paclitaxel arm and 12 (5%) on the paclitaxel arm discontinued the study because of adverse reactions. There were two deaths on study or within 30 days after study drug discontinuation that were possibly drug-related, one on each arm.

Table 7 presents the safety data occurrences of ≥10% (all grades) from the gemcitabine plus paclitaxel versus paclitaxel study in breast cancer.

The following are the clinically relevant adverse reactions that occurred in >1% and <10% (all grades) of patients on either arm. In parentheses are the incidences of Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions (Gemcitabine plus paclitaxel versus paclitaxel): febrile neutropenia (5.0% versus 1.2%), infection (0.8% versus 0.8%), dyspnea (1.9% versus 0), and allergic reaction/hypersensitivity (0 versus 0.8%).

No differences in the incidence of laboratory and non-laboratory events were observed in patients 65 years or older, as compared to patients younger than 65.

Combination Use in Ovarian Cancer:

In the gemcitabine plus carboplatin versus carboplatin study, dose reductions occurred with 10.4% of gemcitabine injections and 1.8% of carboplatin injections on the combination arm, versus 3.8% on the carboplatin alone arm. On the combination arm, 13.7% of gemcitabine doses were omitted and 0.2% of carboplatin doses were omitted, compared to 0% of carboplatin doses on the carboplatin alone arm. There were no differences in discontinuations due to adverse reactions between arms (10.9% versus 9.8%, respectively).

Table 8 presents the adverse reactions (all grades) occurring in ≥10% of patients in the ovarian cancer study.

In addition to blood product transfusions as listed in Table 8, myelosuppression was also managed with hematopoietic agents. These agents were administered more frequently with combination therapy than with monotherapy (granulocyte growth factors: 23.6% and 10.1%, respectively; erythropoietic agents: 7.3% and 3.9%, respectively).

The following are the clinically relevant adverse reactions, regardless of causality, that occurred in >1% and <10% (all grades) of patients on either arm. In parentheses are the incidences of Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions (Gemcitabine plus carboplatin versus carboplatin): AST or ALT elevation (0 versus 1.2%), dyspnea (3.4% versus 2.9%), febrile neutropenia (1.1% versus 0), hemorrhagic event (2.3% versus 1.1%), hypersensitivity reaction (2.3% versus 2.9%), motor neuropathy (1.1% versus 0.6%), and rash/desquamation (0.6% versus 0).

No differences in the incidence of laboratory and non-laboratory events were observed in patients 65 years or older, as compared to patients younger than 65.

Manufacturer

Hospira, Inc.

Active Ingredients

Source

Drugs and Medications [16 Associated Drugs and Medications listed on BioPortfolio]

Gemcitabine [Sun Pharma Global FZE]

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use gemcitabine safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for gemcitabine for injection. Gemcitabine for Injection USP, Pow...

Gemcitabine hydrochloride [APP Pharmaceuticals, LLC]

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Gemcitabine for Injection, USP safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Gemcitabine for Injection, USP. Gemcitabin...

Gemcitabine [Hospira, Inc.]

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Gemcitabine for Injection, USP safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Gemcitabine for Injection, USP. Gemcitabin...

Gemcitabine hydrochloride [Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc.]

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Gemcitabine for Injection, USP safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Gemcitabine for Injection, USP. Gemcitabin...

Gemcitabine hcl [Sandoz Inc]

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use gemcitabine for injection safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for gemcitabine for injection.Gemcitabine for Injec...

Clinical Trials [1224 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

EndoTAG-1 / Gemcitabine Combination Therapy to Treat Locally Advanced and/or Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas

The intention of this trial is to evaluate safety and efficacy of a combination treatment of EndoTAG-1 with Gemcitabine versus Gemcitabine monotherapy.

A Phase I/II Open-Label Dose-Escalation Clinical Trial of CPI-613 in Combination With Gemcitabine in Cancer Patients

The objectives of this study are: - To determine the safety and MTD of CPI-613, when used in combination with Gemcitabine, in cancer patients. - To compare the safety an...

Gemcitabine and Docetaxel With Or Without Bevacizumab in Leiomyosarcoma, Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma and Angiosarcoma

The purpose of this study is to test whether an experimental drug called bevacizumab given together with gemcitabine and docetaxel, a standard chemotherapy regimen for sarcoma, can help sa...

Randomized Trial of Docetaxel and Gemcitabine Versus Gemcitabine in Elderly Patients With NSCLC

This trial will compare the efficacy of the docetaxel and gemcitabine combination versus monotherapy with gemcitabine as first-line treatment in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC

Study of the Safety and Efficacy of TH-302 in Combination With Gemcitabine Compared With Gemcitabine Alone in Previously Untreated Patients With Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

The purpose of this study is to determine whether Gemcitabine versus Gemcitabine and TH-302 are effective in the treatment of subjects with first-line metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

PubMed Articles [112 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

USP9X inhibition improves gemcitabine sensitivity in pancreatic cancer by inhibiting autophagy.

Gemcitabine is the cornerstone of pancreatic cancer treatment. Although effective in most patients, development of tumor resistance to gemcitabine can critically limit its efficacy. The mechanisms res...

Licoricidin enhances gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity in osteosarcoma cells by suppressing the Akt and NF-κB signal pathways.

Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common bone malignancy in children and adolescents. Combined treatments of anti-cancer drugs can remarkably improve chemotherapeutic outcomes. Gemcitabine and licoricidin...

Widespread Skin Necrosis Secondary to Gemcitabine Therapy.

Gemcitabine, a pyrimidine nucleoside analogue, is an oncologic agent used in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Common dermatologic reactions associated with gemcitabine include alopec...

miR-301a plays a pivotal role in hypoxia-induced gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer.

Hypoxia is a hallmark of pancreatic cancer (PC) and is associated with gemcitabine resistance. However, the mechanisms underlying hypoxia-induced gemcitabine resistance in PC remain greatly unknown. O...

Poly (L-glutamic acid)-g-methoxy poly (ethylene glycol)-gemcitabine conjugate improves the anticancer efficacy of gemcitabine.

Gemcitabine is widely used for anticancer therapy. However, its short blood circulation time and poor stability greatly impair its application. To solve this problem, we prepared a poly (L-glutamic ac...

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Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cancer is cancer that starts in the female reproductive organs, the ovaries. It is the fifth most common cancer among women.  Women at risk of Ovarian Cancer are those who have had few children (or had children at an older age), carriers o...

Gilotrif (afatinib)
GILOTRIF (afatinib) is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L8...


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Table 4: Selected WHO-Graded Adverse Reactions in Patients Receiving Single-Agent Gemcitabine WHO Grades (% incidence)a
    All Patientsb   Pancreatic Cancer Patientsc   Discontinuations (%)d  
All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Patients
Laboratorye      Hematologic     Anemia     Leukopenia     Neutropenia     Thrombocytopenia     68 62 63 24     7 9 19 4     1 <1 6 1     73 64 61 36     8 8 17 7     2 1 7 <1     <1 <1 - <1
Hepatic     ALT     AST     Alkaline Phosphatase     Bilirubin   68 67   55 13   8 6   7 2   2 2   2 <1   72 78   77 26   10 12   16 6   1 5   4 2 <1          
Renal     Proteinuria     Hematuria     BUN     Creatinine   45 35 16 8   <1 <1 0 <1   0 0 0 0   32 23 15 6   <1 0 0 0   0 0 0 0