Interstitial lung disease associated with gemcitabine treatment in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer

Shigeki Umemura, Hiromichi Yamane, Toshimitsu Suwaki, Tsutomu Katoh, Takuya Yano, Yasuhiro Shiote, Nagio Takigawa, Katsuyuki Kiura, Haruhito Kamei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although there are several reports concerning gemcitabine-induced interstitial lung disease (ILD), the risk factors for ILD are not well known. In addition, data comparing the incidence and pattern of ILD associated with gemcitabine treatment in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) versus those with pancreatic cancer are scarce. Methods: We reviewed clinical records of 118 patients treated with gemcitabine between November 2004 and November 2010. The radiographic findings and other relevant clinical data were reviewed to identify patients who had developed ILD associated with gemcitabine treatment. Results: Out of these 118 patients, we identified 62 patients with NSCLC (group A) and 56 patients with pancreatic cancer (group B), which were then analysed. After gemcitabine administration, ILD was detected in 9 out of the total 118 patients (7.6%). Three patients had grade 2 ILD and 6 patients had grade 3 ILD. Multivariate analysis revealed that prior thoracic radiotherapy (odds ratio: 26.3) and pre-existing pulmonary fibrosis (PF) (odds ratio: 6.5) were correlated with ILD occurrence, but the incidence of ILD was not different between groups A and B. The median dose of gemcitabine administered till the manifestation of ILD tended to be lower in group A than in group B. Conclusions: Prior thoracic radiotherapy and pre-existing PF were correlated with higher ILD rate in gemcitabine-treated patients. ILD incidence did not differ between NSCLC and pancreatic cancer patients, which may be due to the differences in treatment strategy and tumour properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1475
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cancer research and clinical oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2011



  • Chemotherapy
  • Gemcitabine
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-small cell
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this