Gemcitabine as frontline treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Phase II study of 32 patients




Based on the activity of gemcitabine in heavily pretreated patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), the objective of the current study was to determine the role of gemcitabine in the treatment of patients with advanced, untreated CTCL.


Between June 2002 and February 2004, 32 untreated patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) (n = 26 patients); peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified (PTCLU) with exclusive skin involvement (n = 5 patients); and Sezary syndrome (SS) (n = 1 patient) were enrolled in a 7-institution, Phase II trial and treated with gemcitabine. This drug was given on Days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day schedule at a dose of 1200 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 minutes for a total of 6 cycles.


Of the 32 patients studied, 7 (22%) achieved a complete response (CR) and 17 (53%) achieved a partial response (PR), whereas the remaining 8 patients showed no benefit from the treatment. Five of the CRs were confirmed histologically. The CR and PR rates were found to be the same for patients with MF and PTCLU, respectively. The median duration of CR was 10 months (range, 4–22 mos). Treatment appeared to be well tolerated; hematologic toxicity was mild and no nausea/emesis or organ toxicity was noted.


The results of the current Phase II study demonstrate the activity of gemcitabine as a single agent in untreated CTCL patients. Further studies using gemcitabine in combination, either contemporary or sequentially, with other drugs in patients with advanced stage, untreated CTCL are needed. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.