Background: This study evaluates the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and activity of mitomycin, docetaxel, and irinotecan (MDI) regimen on metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, previously treated with gemcitabine-containing chemotherapy.
Patients and methods: Patients with less than 76 years, Karnofsky performance status > or = 60, and adequate bone marrow, kidney, and liver function were eligible for this trial. Treatment consisted of mitomycin 6 mg/m2 day 1, docetaxel and irinotecan on days 2 and 8 with escalating doses, every 4 weeks. Dose levels were level 1:30 and 70 mg/m2; level 2:30 and 100 mg/m2; level 3:30 and 85 mg/m2; and level 4:35 and 85 mg/m2. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as grade 4 neutropenia > 7 days, febrile neutropenia, grade 4 thrombocytopenia, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea, grade > or = 3 nonhematological toxicity, or failure to recover to grade < or = 1 toxicity by day 43, occurring during the first cycle of chemotherapy.
Results: Between September 2001 and October 2002, 15 eligible patients, three of whom had been previously treated with two lines of chemotherapy, received 33 cycles of MDI. Toxicity consisted of grade 3 to 4 neutropenia in 23% of cycles, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting in 10% of cycles, and one toxic death. DLT was observed in 2 of 6 level 2 patients (one toxic death and one grade 3 fatigue), and 2 of 3 level 4 patients (one neutropenic fever and one grade 3 fatigue). Thirteen patients were assessable for response. No objective response was observed among patients treated with MTD or higher doses. Three patients had stable disease; all other patients had progressive disease. The median time to tumor progression and median survival was 1.7 and 6.1 months, respectively.
Conclusion: The MTD was mitomycin 6 mg/m2 day one, and docetaxel 30 and irinotecan 85 mg/m2 days 2 and 8. This regimen is inactive in metastatic pancreatic cancer.