Background. A phase II study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a gemcitabine plus vinorelbine combination (GV) for patients with cisplatin-resistant nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods. Thirty-nine eligible patients received vinorelbine, 20 mg/m2, followed by gemcitabine, 1000 mg/m2, on days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Results. Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 44% and 18% of patients, respectively, but there was only one episode of febrile neutropenia. Nonhematologic toxicities were mild and did not lead to any treatment withdrawal. The overall response rate was 36% (95% confidence interval [Cl], 20% to 52%) in an intent-to-treat analysis, with one complete response (3%) and 13 partial responses (33%). The median response duration, progression-free survival, and overall survival were 5.1, 5.6, and 11.9 months, respectively. Conclusion. Given the moderately high activity and favorable toxicity profile, GV is a reasonable choice for patients with cisplatin-resistant NPC.
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