Original Paper

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 138, Issue 10, pp 1625-1630

First online:

Comparison of the efficacy and the toxicity between gemcitabine with capecitabine (GC) and gemcitabine with erlotinib (GE) in unresectable pancreatic cancer

  • Eun Kyoung JeonAffiliated withDivision of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , Hye-Sung WonAffiliated withDivision of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , Yoon-Ho KoAffiliated withDivision of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , In Seok LeeAffiliated withDivision of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , Tae Ho HongAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , Young Kyoung YouAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University
  • , Myung Ah LeeAffiliated withDivision of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University Email author 

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Abstract

Objective

We retrospectively compared the efficacy and toxicity of gemcitabine combination with capecitabine or erlotinib in unresectable pancreatic cancer to know whether the combination with cytotoxic and target agent has more benefit comparing to combination of cytotoxic agents.

Methods

Fifty-three patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer, treated with gemcitabine and capecitabine (GC) or gemcitabine and erlotinib (GE) as first line between October 2006 and July 2010, were reviewed. In GC group, patients were treated with gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and capecitabine 1,300 mg/m2 bid was administered on days 1–14, repeated every 21 days. In GE group, gemcitabine was given at 1,000 mg/m2 I.V for 30 min on days 1,8,15, and erlotinib was taken orally at 100 mg through days 1–28, repeated every 28 days.

Results

Response rate was similar, 23.5 % in GE and 21.1 % in GC, but GC had better disease control rate with 73.7 % than GE with 52.9 %. GC also showed longer PFS and OS (5.37 and 14.43 months) than GE (2.63 and 6.23 months) (p = 0.032 for PFS and 0.002 for OS). In toxicity profiles, GC had more hematologic toxicities and GE had more non-hematologic toxicities.

Conclusions

The combination with cytotoxic agents seems to have better efficacy and clinical outcome than combination with cytotoxic agent and target agent. The new combination should be developed for the treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.

Keywords

Pancreatic cancer Gemcitabine Erlotinib Capecitabine