Investigational New Drugs

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 469–472 | Cite as

Gemcitabine alone and/or containing chemotherapy is efficient in refractory or relapsed NK/T-cell lymphoma

  • Hee Kyung Ahn
  • Seok Jin Kim
  • Deok Won Hwang
  • Young Hyeh Ko
  • Tiffany Tang
  • Soon Thye Lim
  • Won Seog Kim


Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (ENKL) has a dismal prognosis. Although L-asparaginase has shown promising efficacy as a frontline therapy, currently there are no treatment options after progression to an L-asparaginase-containing regimen. We report the results of gemcitabine-containing therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory ENKL. We retrospectively reviewed 20 patients with refractory or relapsed ENKL who received a gemcitabine-containing regimen between 2005 and 2011. The overall response rate was 40 % (8 of 20 patients) with a complete response (CR) rate of 20 % (n = 4) and a partial response (PR) rate of 20 % (n = 4). Four complete responders had a disease-free status for more than 7 months including two patients received autologous stem cell transplantation consolidation and L-aspraginase maintenance, respectively. The median progression-free survival of the 20 patients was 2.3 months; however, it was 7.3 months for eight responders (CR and PR). The median overall survival of the eight responders had not been reached at the time of analysis. Gemcitabine was effective in a subset of pretreated ENKL patients and can be considered as a salvage option.


Extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma Gemcitabine Salvage 



Samsung Biomedical Research Institute (C-A9-208).

Disclosure of conflicts of interest

The authors have nothing to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hee Kyung Ahn
    • 1
  • Seok Jin Kim
    • 2
  • Deok Won Hwang
    • 2
  • Young Hyeh Ko
    • 3
  • Tiffany Tang
    • 4
  • Soon Thye Lim
    • 4
  • Won Seog Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineGachon University Gil Medical CenterIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of MedicineSamsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of PathologySamsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Medical OncologyNational Cancer CenterSingaporeSingapore

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