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      Increased Survival in Pancreatic Cancer with nab-Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine

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          Abstract

          In a phase 1-2 trial of albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) plus gemcitabine, substantial clinical activity was noted in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. We conducted a phase 3 study of the efficacy and safety of the combination versus gemcitabine monotherapy in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We randomly assigned patients with a Karnofsky performance-status score of 70 or more (on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better performance status) to nab-paclitaxel (125 mg per square meter of body-surface area) followed by gemcitabine (1000 mg per square meter) on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks or gemcitabine monotherapy (1000 mg per square meter) weekly for 7 of 8 weeks (cycle 1) and then on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks (cycle 2 and subsequent cycles). Patients received the study treatment until disease progression. The primary end point was overall survival; secondary end points were progression-free survival and overall response rate. A total of 861 patients were randomly assigned to nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (431 patients) or gemcitabine (430). The median overall survival was 8.5 months in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group as compared with 6.7 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for death, 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 0.83; P<0.001). The survival rate was 35% in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group versus 22% in the gemcitabine group at 1 year, and 9% versus 4% at 2 years. The median progression-free survival was 5.5 months in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group, as compared with 3.7 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.82; P<0.001); the response rate according to independent review was 23% versus 7% in the two groups (P<0.001). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or higher were neutropenia (38% in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group vs. 27% in the gemcitabine group), fatigue (17% vs. 7%), and neuropathy (17% vs. 1%). Febrile neutropenia occurred in 3% versus 1% of the patients in the two groups. In the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group, neuropathy of grade 3 or higher improved to grade 1 or lower in a median of 29 days. In patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine significantly improved overall survival, progression-free survival, and response rate, but rates of peripheral neuropathy and myelosuppression were increased. (Funded by Celgene; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00844649.).

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          Most cited references 22

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          FOLFIRINOX versus gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

          Data are lacking on the efficacy and safety of a combination chemotherapy regimen consisting of oxaliplatin, irinotecan, fluorouracil, and leucovorin (FOLFIRINOX) as compared with gemcitabine as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We randomly assigned 342 patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0 or 1 (on a scale of 0 to 5, with higher scores indicating a greater severity of illness) to receive FOLFIRINOX (oxaliplatin, 85 mg per square meter of body-surface area; irinotecan, 180 mg per square meter; leucovorin, 400 mg per square meter; and fluorouracil, 400 mg per square meter given as a bolus followed by 2400 mg per square meter given as a 46-hour continuous infusion, every 2 weeks) or gemcitabine at a dose of 1000 mg per square meter weekly for 7 of 8 weeks and then weekly for 3 of 4 weeks. Six months of chemotherapy were recommended in both groups in patients who had a response. The primary end point was overall survival. The median overall survival was 11.1 months in the FOLFIRINOX group as compared with 6.8 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for death, 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.73; P<0.001). Median progression-free survival was 6.4 months in the FOLFIRINOX group and 3.3 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for disease progression, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.59; P<0.001). The objective response rate was 31.6% in the FOLFIRINOX group versus 9.4% in the gemcitabine group (P<0.001). More adverse events were noted in the FOLFIRINOX group; 5.4% of patients in this group had febrile neutropenia. At 6 months, 31% of the patients in the FOLFIRINOX group had a definitive degradation of the quality of life versus 66% in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.70; P<0.001). As compared with gemcitabine, FOLFIRINOX was associated with a survival advantage and had increased toxicity. FOLFIRINOX is an option for the treatment of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and good performance status. (Funded by the French government and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00112658.).
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            Erlotinib plus gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine alone in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a phase III trial of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group.

             Robert Wolff,  ,  Robert Lim (2007)
            Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer have a poor prognosis and there have been no improvements in survival since the introduction of gemcitabine in 1996. Pancreatic tumors often overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor type 1 (HER1/EGFR) and this is associated with a worse prognosis. We studied the effects of adding the HER1/EGFR-targeted agent erlotinib to gemcitabine in patients with unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive standard gemcitabine plus erlotinib (100 or 150 mg/d orally) or gemcitabine plus placebo in a double-blind, international phase III trial. The primary end point was overall survival. A total of 569 patients were randomly assigned. Overall survival based on an intent-to-treat analysis was significantly prolonged on the erlotinib/gemcitabine arm with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.69 to 0.99; P = .038, adjusted for stratification factors; median 6.24 months v 5.91 months). One-year survival was also greater with erlotinib plus gemcitabine (23% v 17%; P = .023). Progression-free survival was significantly longer with erlotinib plus gemcitabine with an estimated HR of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.92; P = .004). Objective response rates were not significantly different between the arms, although more patients on erlotinib had disease stabilization. There was a higher incidence of some adverse events with erlotinib plus gemcitabine, but most were grade 1 or 2. To our knowledge, this randomized phase III trial is the first to demonstrate statistically significantly improved survival in advanced pancreatic cancer by adding any agent to gemcitabine. The recommended dose of erlotinib with gemcitabine for this indication is 100 mg/d.
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              New Guidelines to Evaluate the Response to Treatment in Solid Tumors

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                October 31 2013
                October 31 2013
                : 369
                : 18
                : 1691-1703
                10.1056/NEJMoa1304369
                24131140
                © 2013
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