Background: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of ganitumab (a mAb antagonist of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor) or conatumumab (a mAb agonist of human death receptor 5) combined with gemcitabine in a randomized phase 2 trial in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Patients and methods: Patients with a previously untreated metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤1 were randomized 1 : 1 : 1 to i.v. gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) (days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle) combined with open-label ganitumab (12 mg/kg every 2 weeks [Q2W]), double-blind conatumumab (10 mg/kg Q2W), or double-blind placebo Q2W. The primary end point was 6-month survival rate. Results In total, 125 patients were randomized. The 6-month survival rates were 57% (95% CI 41-70) in the ganitumab arm, 59% (42-73) in the conatumumab arm, and 50% (33-64) in the placebo arm. The grade ≥3 adverse events in the ganitumab, conatumumab, and placebo arms, respectively, included neutropenia (18/22/13%), thrombocytopenia (15/17/8%), fatigue (13/12/5%), alanine aminotransferase increase (15/5/8%), and hyperglycemia (18/2/3%).
Conclusions: Ganitumab combined with gemcitabine had tolerable toxicity and showed trends toward an improved 6-month survival rate and overall survival. Additional investigation into this combination is warranted. Conatumumab combined with gemcitabine showed some evidence of activity as assessed by the 6-month survival rate.