Background: To compare the efficacy and safety of three different chemotherapy doublets in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer (PC).
Patients and methods: At total of 190 patients were randomly assigned to receive capecitabine 1000 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1-14 plus oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 1 (CapOx), capecitabine 825 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1-14 plus gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 (CapGem) or gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 plus oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 8 (mGemOx). Treatment cycles were repeated every three weeks. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 3 months; secondary end points included objective response rate, carbohydrate antigen 19-9 response, clinical benefit response, overall survival and toxicity.
Results: The PFS rate after 3 months was 51% in the CapOx arm, 64% in the CapGem arm and 60% in the mGemOx arm. Median PFS was estimated with 4.2 months, 5.7 months and 3.9 months, respectively (P = 0.67). Corresponding median survival times were: 8.1 months (CapOx), 9.0 months (CapGem) and 6.9 months (mGemOx) (P = 0.56). Grade 3/4 hematological toxicities were more frequent in the two Gem-containing arms; grade 3/4 non-hematological toxicity rates did not exceed 15% in any arm.
Conclusion: CapOx, CapGem and mGemOx have similar clinical efficacy in advanced PC. Each regimen has a distinct but manageable tolerability profile.