Objectives: To examine whether low-dose maintenance gemcitabine-carboplatin chemotherapy is beneficial for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 36 patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma who received first-line chemotherapy (gemcitabine/cisplatin, gemcitabine/carboplatin, or methotrexate/vinblastine/adriamycin/cisplatin) between 2006 and 2012. Those who had responded, but were unable to tolerate ongoing first-line chemotherapy, had been switched to low-dose maintenance chemotherapy consisting of 1g/m2 of gemcitabine and area under the curve 2-4 of carboplatin given on day 1 of a 6-week cycle, and were continued unless disease progression was seen. Results: After a median of three cycles of first-line chemotherapy, 17 patients had been switched to low-dose maintenance chemotherapy. The median age was 70 years (range 56-79 years), and 12 patients (70.6%) had renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance <60mL/min). The median number of cycles of low-dose maintenance chemotherapy was six (range 2-22), and the median survival time from initiation of first-line chemotherapy was 12 months (range 4-32 months). Adverse events requiring hospitalization were seen in three patients, but all of them recovered within a few days with conservative treatment. Seven patients discontinued within 9 months, whereas 10 patients continued on low-dose maintenance chemotherapy for ≥9 months. Patients with only lymph node metastases or who had a good response to previous first-line chemotherapy were likely to be able to continue low-dose maintenance chemotherapy. Conclusions: Low-dose maintenance gemcitabine-carboplatin chemotherapy might represent an alternative for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma not tolerating continuous first-line standard chemotherapy regimens.
- Adverse event
- Low-dose maintenance chemotherapy
- Urothelial carcinoma