Gemcitabine and paclitaxel associated pneumonitis in non-small cell lung cancer Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The aim of this phase I/II dose escalating study was to establish the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of gemcitabine and paclitaxel given in combination in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 12 patients with stage IIIB and IV NSCLC received paclitaxel administered intravenously over 1 h followed by gemcitabine given over 30 min on days 1, 8 and 15 every 28 days. Pneumonitis was the principal side-effect observed with 4 patients affected. Of these, 1 experienced grade 3 toxicity after one cycle of treatment and the others had grade 2 toxicity. All 4 cases responded to prednisolone. No other significant toxicities were observed. Of the 8 evaluable patients, 3 had a partial response and 2 had minor responses. The study was discontinued due to this dose-limiting toxicity. The combination of paclitaxel and gemcitabine shows promising antitumour activity in NSCLC, however, this treatment schedule may predispose to pneumonitis.


  • Thomas, AL
  • Cox, Gerard
  • Sharma, RA
  • Steward, WP
  • Shields, F
  • Jeyapalan, K
  • Muller, S
  • O'Byrne, KJ

publication date

  • December 2000

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