Background: A randomized phase II, open-label multicenter study evaluating oxaliplatin alone (OXA), infusional 5-fluorouracil alone (5-FU) and an oxaliplatin/infusional 5-FU combination (OXFU) in untreated, advanced pancreatic carcinoma (APC).
Patients and methods: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced or metastatic, histologically/cytologically proven pancreatic carcinoma with measurable disease, received OXA [130 mg/m2, 2-h intravenous (i.v.) infusion] alone, OXA combined with 5-FU (1000 mg/m2/day, continuous i.v., days 1-4), or 5-FU alone, every 3 weeks.
Results: Sixty-three patients (42 males/21 females) were treated: 17 patients/52 cycles OXA, 31 patients/ 175 cycles OXFU, 15 patients/41 cycles 5-FU, with a median of three, six and two cycles/patient, respectively. Patient characteristics were similar in all arms. Median age was 57 years (range 21-75), and 83% of patients had PS 0-1. Most patients (62%) had moderate to well-differentiated tumors, 90% had metastatic disease, 81% with liver metastases. All responses (three partial responses; WHO) occurred in the OXFU arm (10% response rate). Five of 32 patients evaluable for clinical benefit were responders (OXA, 14%; OXFU, 21%). Median time to progression and overall survival were higher in the combination arm (4.2 and 9.0 months, respectively) than either single-agent arm (OXA, 2.0 and 3.4 months; 5-FU, 1.5 and 2.4 months, respectively). Moderate hematotoxicity without morbidity was seen in all arms. Two OXFU patients had grade 3 oxaliplatin neurosensory toxicity.
Conclusions: With a 10% response rate, median overall survival of 9 months and an encouraging safety profile, the OXFU combination is effective, appears superior to infusional 5-FU and warrants further studies in APC patients.