Gemcitabine hydrochloride is a type of chemotherapy called an antimetabolite. It mimics one of the building blocks of RNA and DNA, which disrupts the ability of the cells to make DNA and proteins. This slows or stops the growth of cancer cells and other rapidly dividing cells and causes them to die.
Use in Cancer
Gemcitabine hydrochloride is approved to be used alone or with other drugs to treat:
- Breast cancer that cannot be treated with or that did not respond to chemotherapy that included an anthracycline drug. It is used with paclitaxel as the first therapy for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
- Non-small cell lung cancer. It is used with cisplatin in patients whose cancer is stage IIIA, stage IIIB, or stage IV.
- Ovarian cancer that is advanced and has relapsed at least 6 months after treatment with platinum chemotherapy. It is used with carboplatin.
- Pancreatic cancer. It is used alone in patients whose cancer is stage II or stage III and cannot be removed by surgery or stage IV. It is used in patients whose cancer has been treated with fluorouracil.
Gemcitabine hydrochloride is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
More About Gemcitabine Hydrochloride
Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary - Detailed scientific definition and other names for this drug.
MedlinePlus Information on Gemcitabine Hydrochloride - A lay language summary of important information about this drug that may include the following:
- warnings about this drug,
- what this drug is used for and how it is used,
- what you should tell your doctor before using this drug,
- what you should know about this drug before using it,
- other drugs that may interact with this drug, and
- possible side effects.
Drugs are often studied to find out if they can help treat or prevent conditions other than the ones they are approved for. This patient information sheet applies only to approved uses of the drug. However, much of the information may also apply to unapproved uses that are being studied.
Research Results and Related Resources
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Gemcitabine Hydrochloride - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.