Randomized phase III trial of gemcitabine plus cisplatin compared with gemcitabine alone in advanced pancreatic cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2006 Aug 20;24(24):3946-52. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.05.1490.


Purpose: To compare the effectiveness and tolerability of gemcitabine plus cisplatin with single-agent gemcitabine as first-line chemotherapy for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Patients and methods: Patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 and cisplatin 50 mg/m2 given on days 1 and 15 of a 4-week cycle (GemCis arm) or gemcitabine alone at a dose of 1,000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 4-week regimen (Gem arm). The primary end point was overall survival; secondary end points were progression-free survival, response rate, safety, and quality of life.

Results: One hundred ninety-five patients were enrolled and showed baseline characteristics well balanced between treatment arms. Combination treatment in the GemCis arm was associated with a prolonged median progression-free survival (5.3 months v 3.1 months; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.75; P = .053). Also, median overall survival was superior for patients treated in the GemCis arm as compared with the Gem arm (7.5 v 6.0 months), an advantage which did not, however, reach statistical significance (HR = 0.80; P = .15). Tumor response rates were comparable between treatment arms (10.2% v 8.2%). The rate of stable disease was, however, greater in the combination arm (60.2% v 40.2%; P < .001). Grade 3 to 4 hematologic toxicity did not exceed 15% in both treatment arms.

Conclusion: These results support the efficacy and safety of an every-2-weeks treatment with gemcitabine plus cisplatin. Median overall survival and progression-free survival were more favorable in the combination arm as compared with gemcitabine alone, although the difference did not attain statistical significance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine
  • Cisplatin