Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 949–955 | Cite as

Single-institution experience with gemcitabine–cisplatin combination therapy as a second-line treatment for patients with unresectable biliary tract cancer after failure of gemcitabine–S-1 combination therapy: a prospective feasibility study

  • Ryusei Matsuyama
  • Daisuke Morioka
  • Ryutaro Mori
  • Seigo Hiratani
  • Yasuhiro Yabushita
  • Yohei Ota
  • Takafumi Kumamoto
  • Koichi Taniguchi
  • Itaru Endo
Original Article



NCCN and Japanese clinical guidelines for the treatment of biliary tract cancer (BTC) addressed gemcitabine–cisplatin combination (GC) as first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced BTC ineligible for surgery in 2013. However, gemcitabine–S1 combination therapy (GS) has been widely used as first-line treatment in Japan because Japanese social insurance coverage of S-1 for BTC was approved prior to that of cisplatin.


To elucidate the efficacy and tolerability of GC as second-line chemotherapy for patients with unresectable BTC after failure of GS.

Patients and methods

Between September 2008 and August 2011, patients with unresectable BTC who provided informed consent and received GC comprising gemcitabine at 1000 mg/m2 and cisplatin at 20 mg/m2 given on days 1 and 8 in a 3-week cycle after failure of GS were included in the present study. Clinical data from these patients were collected prospectively. Primary endpoints were overall survival and time to progression (TTP). Secondary endpoints were response and tolerability.


Twenty-seven patients were analyzed. Median survival time (MST) and TTP from the beginning of second-line treatment were 6.5 and 3.3 months, respectively, whereas MST from the commencement of first-line therapy was 12.06 months. One patient showed partial response, 16 had stable disease and 10 experienced disease progression. As a result, disease control rate was 63.0%. In total, 119 courses (median, 4; range, 1–15) were administered. Discontinuation of GC due to drug toxicities was not observed.


Although some issues remain to be clarified, mainly due to the small sample size, this single-institution experience with GC as second-line treatment after failure of GS showed acceptable outcomes and good tolerability.


Biliary tract cancer Gemcitabine Cisplatin S-1 Refractory 



No funding was received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

R. Matsuyama, D. Morioka, R. Mori, S. Hiratani, Y. Yabushita, Y. Ota, T. Kumamoto, K. Taniguchi and I. Endo declare they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

This study was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and Good Clinical Practices and was approved by the institutional review board. The study has been registered with UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (no.: UMIN000007571).

Informed consent

We obtained written informed consent from all patients prior to participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterological SurgeryYokohama City University Graduate School of MedicineYokohamaJapan

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