Gemcitabine-induced thrombocytosis as a potential predictive factor in non-small cell lung cancer: analysis of 318 patients



In spite of the progress in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the majority of patients with advanced disease still receive chemotherapy. Gemcitabine alone or combined with a platinum compound is a valid option. Thrombocytosis is a recognized prognostic factor in lung cancer and an adverse event that may occur during gemcitabine infusion.


We retrospectively evaluated all patients with NSCLC treated with first-line gemcitabine-based chemotherapy in two Italian hospitals. We assessed the onset of thrombocytosis within the third cycle of therapy and the relation between thrombocytosis and survival.


We included 318 patients. Thrombocytosis occurred in 156 patients (49.1%). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.6 months (95% CI, 4.7-6.9 months) in patients who developed thrombocytosis versus 6 months (95% CI, 5.1-7.2 months) in patients without thrombocytosis (p = 0.21). Median overall survival (OS) was 11.2 months (95% CI, 9.8-13.4 months) in patients with thrombocytosis versus 12 months (95% CI, 10.1-14.4 months) in patients without thrombocytosis (p = 0.25). We observed no difference in terms of PFS or OS according to age, sex, stage, chemotherapy (single-agent versus combination chemotherapy) and thrombocytosis.


Thrombocytosis is neither a prognostic nor a predictive factor for PFS or OS in patients with advanced NSCLC treated with first-line gemcitabine-based chemotherapy.

Tumori 2017; 103(2): 143 - 147




Stefania Canova, Federica Cicchiello, Francesco Agustoni, Giampaolo Bianchini, Maria Ida Abbate, Paolo Bidoli, Diego Luigi Cortinovis

Article History


Financial suppor: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Department of Medical Oncology, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza - Italy
  • Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy
  • Department of Medical Oncology, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan - Italy
  • Stefania Canova and Federica Cicchiello contributed equally to this work.

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