Gemcitabine is a newer chemotherapy drug, marketed by Eli Lilly and Company under the brand name GEMzar©. This drug acts by replacing one of the building blocks of nucleic acids during DNA replication in cancer cells, preventing tumor growth.
Gemcitabine is used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer. Currently, it is undergoing tests for use in patients suffering from esophageal cancer; it is being used experimentally to treat symptoms associated with other types of cancer strains as well.
Patients treated with gemcitabine experience fewer and milder side effects. Primarily used in combination with carboplatin in the treatment of lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is administered by doctors in three-week cycles over a three to four month period.
Oettle H, et al. (January 2007). "Adjuvant Chemotherapy With Gemcitabine vs Observation in Patients Undergoing Curative-Intent Resection of Pancreatic Cancer: a Randomized Controlled Trial". Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 297 no. 3 (January 2007)