From Dog

Gemcitabine is a nucleoside analog used as a chemotherapy agent with similar activity to fluorouracil.

This drug is metabolized to its inactive metabolite, 2',2'-difluorodeoxyuridine following intravenous injection, and is metabolized by the liver in linear kinetic rates and finally excreted in the urine. It has a half-life of about 12 hours in vitro[2].

This drug has shown efficacy either alone or in combination with carboplatin against canine transitional cell carcinoma[3], nasal carcinoma[4], osteosarcoma[5], hepatic carcinoma[6] and mammary tumors[7].

It appears ineffective at treating canine lymphoma[8].

Primary side-effects are bone marrow suppression, vomiting and cystitis[9], but rare cases of intestinal necrosis and retinal detachment have been reported at higher doses[10].

The recommended dose rate for mammary tumors in dogs is 1- 5 mg/kg given over a 20 - 30 minute IV infusion IV, repeated twice weekly[11].


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  2. Freise KJ et al (2006) Pharmacokinetics of gemcitabine and its primary metabolite in dogs after intravenous infusion. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 29(2):147-152
  3. de Brito Galvao JF et al (2012) Effects of gemcitabine and gemcitabine in combination with carboplatin on five canine transitional cell carcinoma cell lines. Am J Vet Res 73(8):1262-1272
  4. LeBlanc AK et al (2004) Unexpected toxicity following use of gemcitabine as a radiosensitizer in head and neck carcinomas: a veterinary radiation therapy oncology group pilot study. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 45(5):466-470
  5. McMahon M et al (2011) Adjuvant carboplatin and gemcitabine combination chemotherapy postamputation in canine appendicular osteosarcoma. J Vet Intern Med 25(3):511-517
  6. Elpiner AK et al (2011) Single-agent gemcitabine chemotherapy in dogs with hepatocellular carcinomas. Vet Comp Oncol 9(4):260-268
  7. Marconato L et al (2008) Adjuvant gemcitabine after surgical removal of aggressive malignant mammary tumours in dogs. Vet Comp Oncol 6(2):90-101
  8. Turner AI et al (2006) Single agent gemcitabine chemotherapy in dogs with spontaneously occurring lymphoma. J Vet Intern Med 20(6):1384-1388
  9. Cozzi PJ et al (1999) Toxicology and pharmacokinetics of intravesical gemcitabine: a preclinical study in dogs. Clin Cancer Res 5(9):2629-2637
  10. Kosarek CE et al (2005) Clinical evaluation of gemcitabine in dogs with spontaneously occurring malignancies. J Vet Intern Med 19(1):81-86
  11. Dominguez PA et al (2008) Combined gemcitabine and carboplatin therapy for carcinomas in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 23(1):130-137