, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 2313-2318
Date: 19 Oct 2013

Efficacy of nimotuzumab plus gemcitabine usage as first-line treatment in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer

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Advanced pancreatic cancer patients have poor prognosis and scarcely respond to conventional therapies. Clinical trials support the use of molecular-targeted therapy against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the contribution of a monoclonal antibody against EGFR, nimotuzumab, to standard gemcitabine therapy. Patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were assigned to receive gemcitabine plus nimotuzumab. The primary end point was overall survival, whereas the secondary end points included progression-free survival, objective response, and adverse side effects. A total of 18 eligible patients were accrued between December 2007 and July 2010. The disease control rate, calculated as the sum of complete response, partial response, and stable disease, was 55.6 %. The median overall survival time was 9.29 months (95 % CI, 5.499 to 13.072). The median progression-free survival was 3.71 months (95 % CI, 2.526 to 4.902), and the 1-year survival rate was 38.9 %. Of all the patients, 88.8 % had at least one adverse side effect; however, no grade 4 adverse side effect was reported. Nimotuzumab as a high-purity humanized monoclonal antibody with favorable safety profile, its value in the treatment of pancreatic cancer along with gemcitabine, particularly in the comprehensive treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, is appealing for further prospective randomized large-scale clinical trials.

Dan Su and Shun-Chang Jiao contributed equally to this work.