Objective: To evaluate the docetaxel-gemcitabine combination administered every 2 weeks in women with untreated metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Methods: Fifty-two patients with MBC received docetaxel 65 mg/m2 as front-line chemotherapy intravenously over 1 h followed by gemcitabine 1,500 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 min on days 1 and 14. Cycles were repeated every 28 days without prophylactic growth factor support. Twenty-eight (54%) patients had previously received chemotherapy as adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment. Thirty-six (69%) patients had visceral disease including 20 (38%) with liver metastases. All patients were evaluated for toxicity and 45 for response. Results: In an intention-to-treat analysis, a complete response occurred in 7 (13%) patients and partial response in 24 (46%) for an overall response rate of 59% (95% CI: 46.3–73.0%). The response rate was 68% for the 28 patients who had previously received adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 67% for the 36 patients with visceral metastases. The median duration of response was 6.1 months and the median time to disease progression 10.9 months. A total of 254 cycles were administered with dose reduction in 26 (10%) cycles and no lethal toxicity. Grade III–IV neutropenia occurred in 17 (33%) patients and thrombocytopenia in 3 (6%). Febrile neutropenia developed in 3 (6%) patients. Nonhematological toxicity was generally mild. Conclusion: The docetaxel-gemcitabine combination is an active and well-tolerated front-line treatment for patients with MBC. This regimen represents a suitable option especially for women relapsing after anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy.
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