Purpose: Studies treating adenocarcinoma of the pancreas with gemcitabine alone or in combination with a doublet have demonstrated modest improvements in survival. Recent reports have suggested that using the triple-drug regimen FOLFIRINOX can substantially extend survival in patients with metastatic disease. We were interested in determining the clinical benefit of another three-drug regimen of gemcitabine, docetaxel and capecitabine (GTX) in patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Patients and methods: The cases of 154 patients, who received treatment with GTX chemotherapy with histologically confirmed locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, were retrospectively reviewed. All demographic and clinical data were captured including prior therapy, adverse events, treatment response and survival.
Results: One hundred and seventeen metastatic and 37 locally advanced cases of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were reviewed. Partial responses were noted in 11% of cases, and stable disease was observed in 62% of patients. Responses significantly correlated with toxicity (neutropenia, ALT elevation and hospitalizations). Grade 3 or greater hematologic and non-hematologic toxicities were noted in 41% and 9% of cases, respectively. Overall median survival was 11.6 months. Chemotherapy naïve patients with metastatic and locally advanced disease achieved a median survival of 11.3 and 25.0 months, respectively.
Conclusions: We observe a substantial survival benefit with GTX chemotherapy in our cohort of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. These findings warrant further investigation of this combination in this patient population.