Phase II study of gemcitabine and cisplatin in locally advanced/metastatic oesophageal cancer

J Millar, P Scullin, A Morrison, B McClory, L Wall, D Cameron, H Philips, A Price, D Dunlop, M Eatock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Palliative chemotherapy for inoperable/metastatic oesophageal cancer has limited activity. This study assesses the feasibility and activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in this group of patients. In total, 42 patients with locally advanced/metastatic squamous or adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus were treated with gemcitabine 1250 mg m(-2) days 1 and 8 and cisplatin 75 mg m(-2) day 1 in a 21-day cycle. Interim safety analysis was carried out after the first 19 patients suggested significant toxicity. The dose of gemcitabine was subsequently reduced to 1000 mg m(-2). Patients were assessed for toxicity and response. The median number of treatment cycles per patient was 4 (range 1-6). Grade 3-4 neutropenia occurred in 37% of cycles; however, there was only one episode of neutropenic fever. Nonhaematological toxicities included fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Among 32 patients eligible for response, there were three complete responses and 16 partial responses (overall response rate of 45%); nine patients had stable disease. Median survival was 11 months. The response rate appears to be greatest in those with squamous carcinoma compared to adenocarcinoma (71 vs 33%, P=0.036). The combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin in this schedule has manageable toxicity and significant activity in patients with locally advanced/metastatic oesophageal cancer and is worthy of further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-6
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2005


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cisplatin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Survival Rate


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