Gemzar uses can include the treatment of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer. On occasion, Gemzar may also be used for the treatment of other types of cancer. Among these "off-label" Gemzar uses are the treatment of bladder cancer and mesothelioma. The medication has not been approved for use in treating cancer in children.
What Is Gemzar Used For?Gemzar® (gemcitabine) is a prescription medication used for treating various types of cancer. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called antimetabolites. Specifically, Gemzar is approved to treat the following types of cancer:
- Ovarian cancer -- Gemzar is used in combination with carboplatin (Paraplatin®) to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least six months after previous chemotherapy involving a platinum-type medication (any medication with "platin" in the name).
- Breast cancer -- Gemzar is used in combination with paclitaxel (Taxol®) to treat metastatic breast cancer (or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) after breast cancer surgery and previous unsuccessful chemotherapy involving an anthracycline medication (any medication with "rubicin" in the name).
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) -- Gemzar is used in combination with cisplatin (Platinol®) to treat inoperable non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, either to the surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body (Stages IIIA, IIIB, or IV).
- Pancreatic cancer -- Gemzar is used to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body (Stages II, III, or IV). Gemzar can also be used to treat these cancers in people who have tried 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil®) unsuccessfully.