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Treatment Name: Gemcitabine (Gemzar®) + Docetaxel (Taxotere®)

Gemcitabine (Gemzar®) + Docetaxel (Taxotere®) is a Chemotherapy Regimen for Sarcoma

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References

1) Navid F, Willert JR, McCarville MB, et al. Combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel in the treatment of children and young adults with refractory bone sarcoma. Cancer 2008;113:419-425

2) Maki RG, Wathen JK, Patel SR, et al. Randomized Phase II Study of Gemcitabine and Docetaxel Compared With Gemcitabine Alone in Patients With Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Results of Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration Study 002. J Clin Oncol 2007;25:2755-2763 

3) Hensley, ML, Blessing JA, DeGeest K, et al. Fixed-dose rate gemcitabine plus docetaxel as second-line therapy for metastatic uterine leiomyosarcoma: a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II study. Gynecol Oncol 2008;109:323-328

Created: July 9, 2021 Updated: July 13, 2021

What is Sarcoma?

A name given to a type of cancer based on the body tissue the cancer cells most closely resemble. Examples include liposarcoma resembling fat tissue, osteosarcoma resembling bone tissue, leiomyosarcoma resembling smooth muscle tissue, and chondrosarcoma resembling cartilage tissue. Another way doctors classify sarcomas is by grade: high, low, and intermediate.

Sarcomas are treated with surgery (including amputation), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Chemotherapy for sarcomas can last for many months, to more than one year. The stage of sarcoma can vary at diagnosis and throughout treatment. The Tumor, Node, Metastatis (TNM) staging system is used to describe different areas of cancer growth along with Stage Grouping using Stages I, II, III, or IV. Staging systems describe the extent of cancer throughout the body and help doctors determine which treatments to offer. The effectiveness of the treatment may depend upon the stage at diagnosis.

NOTE: Treatment Options listed below are not all-inclusive. Other treatments may be available. ChemoExperts provides drug information and does not recommend any one treatment over another. Only your Doctor can choose which therapy is appropriate for you.

What does Cure mean?

The word “cure” means there are no cancer cells left in the body and cancer will never come back. Depending on the cancer type and stage, this may be the true goal of therapy. However, it is very difficult to prove all cancer cells are gone. Even though images, like X-rays and MRI’s, and blood tests may not show any signs of cancer, there can be a small amount of cancer cells still left in the body. Because of this, the word “remission” is used more often. This means there are no signs or symptoms of cancer. Patients in remission are followed closely for any signs of cancer returning. Sometimes, more chemotherapy may be given while in remission to prevent the cancer from coming back.

Doctors usually do not consider a patient “cured” until the chance of cancer returning is extremely low. If cancer does return, it usually happens within 5 years of having a remission. Because of this, doctors do not consider a patient cured unless the cancer has not come back within 5 years of remission. The five-year cutoff does not apply to all cancers.

Common Starting Doses

  • Gemcitabine 900 mg/m2 intravenously (I.V.) over 30 minutes on Day 1 and Day 8
  • Docetaxel 75 mg/m2 I.V. over 60 minutes on Day 8

Note: Individual doses may vary based upon your Doctor's recommendation, or drug availability.

Clinical Studies

1) Navid F, Willert JR, McCarville MB, et al. Combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel in the treatment of children and young adults with refractory bone sarcoma. Cancer 2008;113:419-425

2) Maki RG, Wathen JK, Patel SR, et al. Randomized Phase II Study of Gemcitabine and Docetaxel Compared With Gemcitabine Alone in Patients With Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Results of Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration Study 002. J Clin Oncol 2007;25:2755-2763 

3) Hensley, ML, Blessing JA, DeGeest K, et al. Fixed-dose rate gemcitabine plus docetaxel as second-line therapy for metastatic uterine leiomyosarcoma: a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II study. Gynecol Oncol 2008;109:323-328

What is a CBC?

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) is a frequently ordered blood test that tells clinicians the status of your: 1) White blood cell count, 2) Hemoglobin, and 3) Platelet count at the time the test was taken.

Common uses:
1) White blood cell count (WBC): is used to determine infection risk, or response to chemotherapy. Certain chemotherapy agents may harm our good infection-fighting cells. Sometimes chemotherapy may need to be delayed to allow these cells to recover.

2) Hemoglobin: is used to determine if someone is anemic. Anytime the hemoglobin is below 12 g/dL, the person is said to be anemic. Red blood cell transfusions, and sometimes iron can be given to restore the hemoglobin level, but anemia treatment should always aim at treating the underlying cause or condition.

3) Platelet count: is used to determine if the risk of bleeding is increased or if a platelet transfusion is required to prevent bleeding. Certain medications that increase bleeding risk, such as: aspirin, certain chemotherapy agents, and blood thinners, may need to be stopped temporarily until the platelet count is within a safe range.

What is a CMP?

A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a frequently ordered blood test that tells clinicians the status of your: 1) Electrolytes & Acid/Base status2) Kidney function, 3) Liver function, 4) Blood sugar, and 5) Calcium at the time the test was taken. It is commonly used to monitor liver and kidney function when beginning new medications such as chemotherapy. A total of 14 tests are run simultaneously and are shown below.

Electrolytes & Acid/Base status:
1) Sodium, 2) Potassium, 3) Carbon dioxide, 4) Chloride

Kidney Function:
5) BUN (blood urea nitrogen), 6) Serum creatinine (Scr)

Liver Function:
7) AST, 8) ALT, 9) Total bilirubin, 10) Alk Phos, 11) Albumin, 12) Total protein

Blood sugar:
13) Serum glucose

Calcium:
14) Serum calcium