Outcomes after neoadjuvant treatment with gemcitabine and erlotinib followed by gemcitabine–erlotinib and radiotherapy for resectable pancreatic cancer (GEMCAD 10-03 trial)
Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients has shown promising results in non-randomized trials. This is a multi-institutional phase II trial of NAT in resectable PDAC patients.
Patients with confirmed resectable PDAC after agreement by two expert radiologists were eligible. Patients received three cycles of GEM (1000 mg/m2/week) plus daily erlotinib (ERL) (100 mg/day). After re-staging, patients without progressive disease underwent 5 weeks of therapy with GEM (300 mg/m2/week), ERL 100 mg/day and concomitant radiotherapy (45 Gy). Efficacy was assessed using tumor regression grade (TRG) and resection margin status. Using a single-arm Simon’s design, considering the therapy not useful if R0 < 40% and useful if the R0 > 70% (alpha 5%, beta 10%), 24 patients needed to be recruited. This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01389440.
Twenty-five patients were enrolled. Adverse effects of NAT were mainly mild gastrointestinal disorders. Resectability rate was 76%, with a R0 rate of 63.1% among the resected patients. Median overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were 23.8 (95% CI 11.4–36.2) and 12.8 months (95% CI 8.6–17.1), respectively. R0 resection patients had better median OS, compared with patients with R1 resection or not resected (65.5 months vs. 15.5 months, p = 0.01). N0 rate among the resected patients was 63.1%, and showed a longer median OS (65.5 vs. 15.2 months, p = 0.009).
The results of this study confirm promising oncologic results with NAT for patients with resectable PDAC. Therefore, the present trial supports the development of phase II randomized trials comparing NAT vs. upfront surgery in resectable pancreatic cancer.
KeywordsNeoadjuant Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study are in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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