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      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management (submit here)

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      High-intensity focused ultrasound therapy in combination with gemcitabine for unresectable pancreatic carcinoma


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          To investigate the therapeutic effect and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy combined with gemcitabine in treating unresectable pancreatic carcinoma.


          The 45 patients suffering from pancreatic carcinoma were randomized into two groups. The patients in the experimental group (n=23) received HIFU in combination with gemcitabine and those in the control group (n=22) received gemcitabine alone. The effect and clinical benefit rates in the two groups were compared. The median survival time and 6-month and 12-month survival rates were calculated by Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test.


          The median survival time and 6-month survival rate were significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group (8.91 months vs 5.53 months, 73.9% vs 40.9%, respectively P<0.05), but 12-month survival rate was not statistically different between the two groups (13.0% vs 4.5%, P>0.05). The clinical benefit rates in the experimental group and the control group were 69.6% and 36.3%, respectively ( P<0.05). The pain remission rate in the experimental group was significantly higher than that in the control group (65.2% vs 31.8%, P<0.05).


          HIFU in combination with gemcitabine is better than gemcitabine alone. This combinatorial therapy may become a better and effective treatment for unresectable pancreatic carcinoma.

          Most cited references18

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          Randomized phase III trial of gemcitabine plus cisplatin compared with gemcitabine alone in advanced pancreatic cancer.

          To compare the effectiveness and tolerability of gemcitabine plus cisplatin with single-agent gemcitabine as first-line chemotherapy for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 and cisplatin 50 mg/m2 given on days 1 and 15 of a 4-week cycle (GemCis arm) or gemcitabine alone at a dose of 1,000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 4-week regimen (Gem arm). The primary end point was overall survival; secondary end points were progression-free survival, response rate, safety, and quality of life. One hundred ninety-five patients were enrolled and showed baseline characteristics well balanced between treatment arms. Combination treatment in the GemCis arm was associated with a prolonged median progression-free survival (5.3 months v 3.1 months; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.75; P = .053). Also, median overall survival was superior for patients treated in the GemCis arm as compared with the Gem arm (7.5 v 6.0 months), an advantage which did not, however, reach statistical significance (HR = 0.80; P = .15). Tumor response rates were comparable between treatment arms (10.2% v 8.2%). The rate of stable disease was, however, greater in the combination arm (60.2% v 40.2%; P < .001). Grade 3 to 4 hematologic toxicity did not exceed 15% in both treatment arms. These results support the efficacy and safety of an every-2-weeks treatment with gemcitabine plus cisplatin. Median overall survival and progression-free survival were more favorable in the combination arm as compared with gemcitabine alone, although the difference did not attain statistical significance.
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            Validation of World Health Organization Guidelines for cancer pain relief: a 10-year prospective study.

            This paper reports on the experience gained using World Health Organization Guidelines for cancer pain relief over a 10-year period in an anaesthesiology-based pain service associated with a palliative care programme. The course of treatment of 2118 patients was assessed prospectively over a period of 140,478 treatment days. Non-opioid analgesics (WHO step I) were used on 11%, weak opioids (WHO step II) on 31% and strong opioids (WHO step III) on 49% of treatment days. Administration was via the enteral route on 82% and parenterally on 9% of treatment days. On the remaining days, either spinally applied opioids (2%) or other treatments (6%) were utilised. Fifty-six percent of the patients were treated with morphine. Morphine dose escalation was observed in about one-half of the patients being cared for until death, whereas the other half had stable or decreasing doses over the course of treatment. Co-analgesics were administered on 37% of days, most often antidepressants (15%), anticonvulsants (13%) and corticosteroids (13%). Adjuvants to treat symptoms other than pain were prescribed on 79% of days, most commonly laxatives (42%), histamine-2-receptor antagonists (39%) and antiemetics (35%). In addition, palliative antineoplastic treatment was performed in 42%, nerve blocks in 8%, physiotherapy in 5%, psychotherapy in 3% and TENS in 3% of patients. A highly significant pain reduction was achieved within the 1st week of treatment (P < 0.001). Over the whole treatment period, good pain relief was reported in 76%, satisfactory efficacy in 12% and inadequate efficacy in 12% of patients. In the final days of life, 84% rated their pain as moderate or less, while 10% were unable to give a rating. Analgesics remained constantly effective in all 3 steps of the WHO ladder. Other clinical symptoms were likewise significantly reduced at 1 week after initial assessment, with the exception of neuropsychiatric symptoms. During the course of treatment, the latter were the major symptoms on 23% of days, followed by nausea (23%), constipation (23%) and anorexia (20%). Our results emphasise once again the marked efficacy and low rate of complications associated with oral and parenteral analgesic therapy as the mainstay of pain treatment in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer. Wide dissemination of WHO guidelines among doctors and healthcare workers is thus necessary to effect a clear improvement in the treatment of the many patients suffering from cancer pain in the clinical and home setting.
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              Gemcitabine plus capecitabine compared with gemcitabine alone in advanced pancreatic cancer: a randomized, multicenter, phase III trial of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research and the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group.

              This phase III trial compared the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine (Gem) plus capecitabine (GemCap) versus single-agent Gem in advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer. Patients were randomly assigned to receive GemCap (oral capecitabine 650 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1 to 14 plus Gem 1,000 mg/m2 by 30-minute infusion on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks) or Gem (1,000 mg/m2 by 30-minute infusion weekly for 7 weeks, followed by a 1-week break, and then weekly for 3 weeks every 4 weeks). Patients were stratified according to center, Karnofsky performance score (KPS), presence of pain, and disease extent. A total of 319 patients were enrolled between June 2001 and June 2004. Median overall survival (OS) time, the primary end point, was 8.4 and 7.2 months in the GemCap and Gem arms, respectively (P = .234). Post hoc analysis in patients with good KPS (score of 90 to 100) showed a significant prolongation of median OS time in the GemCap arm compared with the Gem arm (10.1 v 7.4 months, respectively; P = .014). The overall frequency of grade 3 or 4 adverse events was similar in each arm. Neutropenia was the most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse event in both arms. GemCap failed to improve OS at a statistically significant level compared with standard Gem treatment. The safety of GemCap and Gem was similar. In the subgroup of patients with good performance status, median OS was improved significantly. GemCap is a practical regimen that may be considered as an alternative to single-agent Gem for the treatment of advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer patients with a good performance status.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                02 May 2016
                : 12
                : 687-691
                Hepatobiliary Surgery Department, Second Artillery General Hospital, Xicheng District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dinghua Zhou, Hepatobiliary Surgery Department, Second Artillery General Hospital, The New Main Street 16th, Xicheng District, Beijing 100088, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 10 6634 3474, Fax +86 10 6634 3099, Email zhou_dinghua123@ 123456126.com
                © 2016 Lv et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                pancreatic carcinoma treatment,high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy,gemcitabine


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