Combination paclitaxel, carboplatin, and gemcitabine is an active treatment for advanced urothelial cancer

M. Hussain*, U. Vaishampayan, W. Du, B. Redman, D. C. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the efficacy and toxicity of the drug combination of carboplatin, paclitaxel, and gemcitabine in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma. Patients and Methods: Patients eligible included those with advanced urothelial malignancy of any histology, no previous chemotherapy for metastatic disease, Southwest Oncology Group performance status of 2 or less, serum creatinine levels of 2 mg/dL or less, and adequate bone marrow and hepatic function. Treatment consisted of paclitaxel 200 mg/m2, carboplatin (target area under the curve = 5) on day 1, and gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8, repeated every 21 days. Results: Forty-nine patients (44 men and five women) were enrolled; the patients' median age was 63 years, and their median creatinine clearance was 78 mL/min (range, 26 to 165 mL/min). Forty-three patients had transitional cell carcinoma, and six had squamous cell carcinoma or mixed histology. Ten patients had metastases to lymph nodes only, six had locally advanced disease, four had locally recurrent disease, 24 patients had visceral metastases, and five had soft tissue metastases. Twenty-one patients had disease in one site, 16 in two sites, and 12 in three sites. A total of 272 cycles were administered (median, six cycles; range, 1 to 15 cycles). Major toxicities were grade 3 and 4 neutropenia in 17 and 19 patients, respectively; grade 3 and 4 thrombocytopenia in 15 and six patients, respectively; grade 3 and 4 anemia in 10 and two patients, respectively; grade 3 neuropathy in four patients; and diarrhea in two patients. The incidence of febrile neutropenia was 1.4%; no patients died of drug toxicity. Forty-seven of the 49 patients were assessable for response. Fifteen (32%) patients experienced a complete response, and 17 (36%) patients experienced a partial response (32 of 47 patients, 68%; 95% confidence interval, 56.27 to 82.86). Responses were seen in all sites, including 15 (68%) of 22 patients with visceral metastases. The median survival was 14.7 months, with a 1-year survival of 59%. Conclusion: Combination paclitaxel, carboplatin, and gemcitabine is active; an encouraging number of patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma treated with this regimen experienced complete remission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2527-2533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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