Background: Sorafenib, an inhibitor of B-raf, VEGFR2, and PDGFR-β, has activity against pancreatic cancer in preclinical models. In a phase I trial of gemcitabine plus sorafenib, 57% of pancreatic cancer patients achieved stable disease.
Patients and methods: We conducted a multi-center phase II trial of sorafenib plus gemcitabine in chemo-naïve patients with histologically-confirmed, advanced pancreatic cancer. Patients received sorafenib 400 mg twice daily and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28 day cycle.
Results: Seventeen patients enrolled at 4 centers; 13 were evaluable for response. There were no objective responses; 18% had stable disease. Median overall survival was 4.0 months (95% CI: 3.4, 5.9); median progression-free survival was 3.2 months (95% CI: 1.6, 3.6). Grade 3/4 toxicities included thrombosis in 18% of patients, dehydration or hand-foot syndrome in 12%, and hypertension or gastrointestinal bleeding in 6%.
Conclusion: Gemcitabine plus sorafenib is inactive in advanced pancreatic cancer.