Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1315–1322 | Cite as

Gemcitabine in combination with vinorelbine in elderly patients with anthracycline- and taxane-pretreated metastatic breast cancer

  • Ningning DongEmail author
  • Mingyu Wang
  • Huiqing Li
  • Yongchun Cui
  • Qisen Guo
Original Article



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine in combination with vinorelbine in elderly patients with anthracycline- and taxane-pretreated metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

Patients and methods

Elderly patients with MBC received gemcitabine 1,000 mg m−2 and vinorelbine 25 mg m−2 on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks for a maximum of 6 cycles. The primary end points were objective response and toxicity. The secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and prognostic factors associated with disease control, PFS, and OS.


Fifty-one patients with a median age of 73 years (range, 65–84 years) were included. The response rate according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors was 33.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.4 to 46.2%). At a median follow-up of 16.2 months, median PFS and OS were 6.2 (95% CI, 4.6 to 7.8) and 17.0 months (95% CI, 14.5 to 19.5), respectively. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events included neutropenia (25.5%), anemia (13.7%), thrombocytopenia (9.8%), fatigue (5.9%), constipation (3.9%), neuropathy (3.9%), and hepatotoxicity (3.9%). Neutropenic fever occurred in 2 patients. There was one toxic death due to massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage. The study of prognostic factors did not reveal any predictive factor of disease control, while response to treatment and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was the main factor conditioning PFS and OS, respectively.


Gemcitabine in combination with vinorelbine is active and safe in elderly patients with anthracycline- and taxane-pretreated metastatic breast cancer.


Gemcitabine Vinorelbine Chemotherapy Elder Metastatic breast cancer 



We thank Dr. Jun Ren for his assistance during the writing of the article.

Conflict of interest

All authors indicated no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ningning Dong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mingyu Wang
    • 2
  • Huiqing Li
    • 3
  • Yongchun Cui
    • 4
  • Qisen Guo
    • 2
  1. 1.Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Medical Oncology DepartmentPeking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & InstituteBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chemotherapy DepartmentShandong Tumor Hospital and InstituteJinanChina
  3. 3.Epidemiology Department, Institute of Basic MedicineShandong Academy of Medical SciencesJinanChina
  4. 4.Clinical Trial CenterShandong Tumor Hospital and InstituteJinanChina

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