Lay Summary: Gemcitabine does not appear to be very active by itself in kidney cancer but may turn out to be effective in combinations.
Gemcitabine has some dated phase II evidence in a phase II trial and the response rates were quite low. There are moore recent studies in combination with other drugs. Researchers from Italy recently conducted a small clinical trial evaluating the combination of Gemzar® , alfa interferon and Proleukin® in 16 patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Continued therapy with alfa interferon and Proleukin® was given to patients who responded or were stabilized by treatment. One patient achieved a complete disappearance of detectable cancer (complete remission) and 3 patients (28%) achieved at least a 50% reduction in their cancer (partial remission). In addition, 7 patients had their cancer stabilized by treatment. The average time to progression of cancer was approximately 14 months and the average survival was approximately 20 months. Treatment was generally well tolerated.
These researchers concluded that although this was a small clinical trial, it appears that the addition of Gemzar® to alfa interferon and Proleukin® may augment anti-cancer activity in metastatic renal cell cancer. Future clinical trials that involve larger numbers of patients and directly compare the addition of Gemzar® to alfa interferon and Proleukin®, compared to alfa interferon and Proleukin® alone are warranted.
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