Single Agent Chemotherapy
Brand name: Gemzar®
Gemcitabine is a chemotherapy drug that interferes with cancer cell’s production of DNA, the genetic material of the cell. The drug has been used by itself and with other drugs in the treatment of many kinds of cancer including lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).
Like other single agent chemotherapeutic agents, Gemcitabine is given intravenously usually weekly for two-three weeks with a week off before a cycle is repeated.
Possible side effects may include mild nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and a flu-like syndrome (fever, chills, muscle aches, headache) which may begin 4-24 hours after the drug is given. Rarely the drug causes pain and irritation along the vein, or a skin rash. The drug can cause a temporary decrease in blood cell count, or temporary thinning of the hair. Rarely constipation, diarrhea, or mouth sores may occur.