Gemcitabine for the Treatment of Patients with Osteosarcoma

  • Wei, Mei-Yang (Department of Orthopaedics, Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military Command) ;
  • Zhuang, Yan-Feng (Department of Orthopaedics, Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military Command) ;
  • Wang, Wan-Ming (Department of Orthopaedics, Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military Command)
  • Published : 2014.09.15


Background: Patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma are considered to have a very poor prognosis, and new regimens are needed to improve the prognosis in this setting. Gemcitabine, a nucleoside antimetabolite, is an analog of deoxycytidine which mainly inhibits DNA synthesis through interfering with DNA chain elongation and depleting deoxynucleotide stores, resulting in gemcitabine-induced cell death. Here we performed a systemic analysis to evaluate gemcitabine based chemotherapy as salvage treatment for patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma. Methods: Clinical studies evaluating the impact of gemcitabine based regimens on response and safety for patients with osteosarcoma were identified by using a predefined search strategy. Pooled response rates (RRs) of treatment were calculated. Results: In gemcitabine based regimens, 4 clinical studies which included 66 patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma were considered eligible for inclusion. Systemic analysis suggested that, in all patients, pooled RR was 12.1% (8/66) in gemcitabine based regimens. Major adverse effects were hematologic toxicity, including grade 3 or 4 anemia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia in gemcitabine based treatment. No treatment related death occurred in gemcitabine based treatment. Conclusion: This systemic analysis suggests that gemcitabine based regimens are associated with mild activity with good tolerability in treating patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma.


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