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A Journal on Internal Medicine
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 2001 March;43(1):15-9
Gemcitabine as single agent therapy in advanced non small cell lung cancer and quality of life in the elderly
Bianco V., Di Girolamo B., Pignatelli E., Speranza I., Florio G., Gemma D., Girolami M., Vietri F., Marchei P.
From the Department of Experimental Medicine and Pathology Medical Oncology Unit Umberto I Polyclinic University “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italy
Background. The aim of this study is to test the efficacy of gemcitabine as single agent therapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the elderly by the evaluation of the clinical response, the survival increase and the quality of life.
Methods. Nineteen patients (age >65 years) with a PS >2, bearing an advanced non-small cell lung cancer (IIIb-IV) not treated with chemotherapy before, were charged between December 1996 and December 1998. Sixteen patients were treated with gemcitabine at the dose of 1000 mg/mq 1-8-15 every 28 days. CT scan, X-rays and skeletal scintigraphy were used in the evaluation of the therapeutic response. The toxicity was estimated by following WHO indexes. The quality of life and the modification of the specific symptoms were estimated by particular tests (Spitzer Index, IADL, EORTC-LC13).
Results. One complete response (6%), 4 partial responses (25%), 7 cases of illness stabilization (43%), 4 cases of illness progression, were shown. One year of survival was found in 43% of cases with a 14 week of therapeutic response and a global survival ratio of 12.4 weeks. Only 2 cases (12.5) of medium grade G3-leucopenia were found. All patients improved their quality of life (IADL and Spitzer indexes) with reduction of symptoms, (EORTC-LC13) and increase of self-agin and relationships.
Conclusions. The effectiveness of gemcitabine as single agent therapy as not yet been tested due to the scanty number of patients, nevertheless it must be considered in relation to the improvement of the patient’s quality of life.