Study objectives: The present study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination of Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin and 5-FU as second line therapy, following relapse to Gemcitabine, in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
Patients and methods: Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer previously treated with Gemcitabine were included in the study. All patients had histologically or cytologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas that was unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic. Treatment consisted of Oxaliplatin 50 mg/m(2) (2-hour iv infusion), followed by Leucovorin 50 mg/m(2) (i.v. bolus) and 500 mg/m(2) 5-FU (1-hour iv infusion), administered weekly, until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression. Objective tumour response and toxicity were evaluated according to World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria.
Results: A total of 30 patients, 20 men and 10 women, median age 63 years (range 52-71 years) and Karnofsky Performance Status (PS) of > or =50 entered the study. The majority of patients (96%) had locally advanced disease. A total of 380 doses of chemotherapy were delivered, a median of 12 doses per patient. Partial responses were observed in 7 patients (PR 23.3%), stable disease in 9 (SD 30.0%), while 14 patients progressed (PD 46.7%). Improved PS was observed in 18 (42.8%) patients. Patients that had responded to first-line Gemcitabine treatment were found more likely to respond or stabilize their disease with second-line treatment. The median duration of response was 22 weeks, and median overall survival was 25 weeks, Grade 3/4 toxicity expressed per chemotherapy dose included leukopenia 16%, anemia 3.2%, thrombocytopenia 3.2%, diarrhea 14.2%, fatigue 16.1% and neurotoxicity 4.2%. Eight patients (27%) suffered a febrile neutropenic event managed successfully with oral antibiotic home therapy, while 17 patients required G-CSF support. There were no treatment related deaths.
Conclusions: The combination of Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin and 5-FU was tolerated with manageable toxicity, offering encouraging activity as second-line treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, previously treated with Gemcitabine. Additional studies are warranted with this regimen in Gemcitabine relapsed pancreatic cancer patients.