Gemcitabine in combination with oxaliplatin compared with gemcitabine alone in locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: results of a GERCOR and GISCAD phase III trial

J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 20;23(15):3509-16. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.06.023.


Purpose: Gemcitabine (Gem) is the standard treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. Given the promising phase II results obtained with the Gem-oxaliplatin (GemOx) combination, we conducted a phase III study comparing GemOx with Gem alone in advanced pancreatic cancer.

Patients and methods: Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer were stratified according to center, performance status, and type of disease (locally advanced v metastatic) and randomly assigned to either GemOx (gemcitabine 1 g/m2 as a 100-minute infusion on day 1 and oxaliplatin 100 mg/m2 as a 2-hour infusion on day 2 every 2 weeks) or Gem (gemcitabine 1 g/m2 as a weekly 30-minute infusion).

Results: Three hundred twenty-six patients were enrolled; 313 were eligible, and 157 and 156 were allocated to the GemOx and Gem arms, respectively. GemOx was superior to Gem in terms of response rate (26.8% v 17.3%, respectively; P = .04), progression-free survival (5.8 v 3.7 months, respectively; P = .04), and clinical benefit (38.2% v 26.9%, respectively; P = .03). Median overall survival (OS) for GemOx and Gem was 9.0 and 7.1 months, respectively (P = .13). GemOx was well tolerated overall, although a higher incidence of National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria grade 3 and 4 toxicity per patient was observed for platelets (14.0% for GemOx v 3.2% for Gem), vomiting (8.9% for GemOx v 3.2% for Gem), and neurosensory symptoms (19.1% for GemOx v 0% for Gem).

Conclusion: These results confirm the efficacy and safety of GemOx, but this study failed to demonstrate a statistically significant advantage in terms of OS compared with Gem. Because GemOx is the first combined treatment to be superior to Gem alone in terms of clinical benefit, this promising regimen deserves further development.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / adverse effects
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Probability
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine