Biweekly cisplatin and gemcitabine in patients with advanced biliary tract cancer

Daniel H. Ahn, Josh Reardon, Chul W. Ahn, Manojkumar Bupathi, Sameh Mikhail, Christina Sing Ying Wu, Tanios Bekaii-Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Treatment with cisplatin and gemcitabine demonstrates a survival benefit in patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (ABTC). However, the weekly administration can add significant toxicities that may prohibit prolonged treatment. Based on previous studies, we implemented a modified biweekly regimen of GC in an attempt to optimize the prescribed regimen with an improved toxicity profile, added convenience to patients while maintaining efficacy. Patients with ABTC were treated with fixed dose rate (FDR) gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2/min) and cisplatin 20 mg/m2 on days 1 and 15 of every 28-day cycle. Patients received treatment until time of progression, death, or discontinuation due to intolerance. Collected data included demographics, clinico-pathologic features, toxicities, and survival. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to calculate the median overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS). The study included 107 evaluable pts with unresectable ABTC who received the biweekly regimen. Sites of tumor included gallbladder (21.5%), ampullary (3.7%), and bile duct (74.8%). Median number of cycles was 6 (1–27). Median PFS was 8.34 (6.74, 9.23) months and median OS was 10.32 (9.10, 11.43) months. Most common grade ≥3 adverse events included neutropenia (11%), fatigue (10%), and thrombocytopenia (6.4%). Biweekly FDR GC in ABTC is associated with a more favorable toxicity profile while maintaining efficacy similar to that observed in prior clinical trials. Minimal toxicities were observed despite a prolonged course for many patients. Further prospective trials should consider evaluating the role of biweekly GC regimen in ABTC, including a potentially more favorable platform in novel experimental strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1675
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2018


  • biliary tract cancer
  • cisplatin
  • efficacious
  • gemcitabine
  • improved toxicity profile
  • modified regimen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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