, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 190-201,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Dec 2013

Recent Treatment Advances and Novel Therapies in Pancreas Cancer: A Review

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last couple of years, we have witnessed the availability of a wide variety of different therapeutic agents and the identification of effective combinations of existing ones that have transformed the way we approach and treat pancreatic cancer. Proof of this are the recent validations that combinations of conventional chemotherapy drugs, the FOLFIRINOX regimen and gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel, significantly improves clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic disease. However, deeper and more sophisticated understanding of the biology of this cancer as well as the ability to develop better and perhaps more precise drugs predict that the landscape may be changing even more.

Methodology and Results

In this review, we will summarize the most recent treatment advances including FOLFIRINOX, gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel and discuss novel approaches such as immune-mediated therapies, drugs that disrupt the tumor-stromal compartment, PARP inhibitors for BRCA pathway-deficient pancreatic cancer and new generations of conventional chemotherapeutics, which are in early phases of clinical development and have shown promising early results. We will also discuss some examples of drugs that failed, despite very good preliminary data, in order to appraise the lessons learned from these negative clinical trials. Lastly, we will comment on ongoing adjuvant and neoadjuvant trials.

Conclusion

We hope that at least some of these will result in positive trials and add to our armamentarium for treating this challenging malignancy.