A phase I study of gemcitabine plus palliative radiation therapy for advanced lung cancer

Brian Choi, H. Ian Robins, Joan Schiller, Minesh Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and antitumor activity of twice-weekly gemcitabine when combined with palliative-dose thoracic radiation therapy (RT) in patients with recurrent or progressive lung cancer. Methods: Patients were enrolled in a dose-escalating study of gemcitabine with a starting dose level of 40 mg/m2 given as 30-minute infusions twice weekly concurrent with RT. The RT dose was 30 Gy in 10 fractions, 5 fractions per week. Results: A total of 18 patients were enrolled on three dose levels: 40, 50, and 65 mg/m2. Four patients came off study early due to rapid progression of disease and therefore were not evaluated. The MTD of gemcitabine was found to be 50 mg/m2. Dose-limiting toxicities were grade-4 esophagitis in one patient and grade-4 neutropenia in another patient. Overall response included 1 partial response (PR). Local response included six PR, four minor response (MR), three stable disease (SD), and one progressive disease (PD). Conclusion: The MTD of gemcitabine with concominant palliative thoracic radiation therapy is 50 mg/m2 twice weekly. The DLTs observed were grade-4 esophagitis and grade-4 myelotoxicity at 65 mg/m2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-179
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Gemcitabine
  • Lung cancer
  • Palliative radiation
  • Phase I
  • Radiosensitizers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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