Phase II trial of combined regional hyperthermia and gemcitabine for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer

Int J Hyperthermia. 2012;28(7):597-604. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2012.695428. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


Purpose: Despite advances in cancer therapy, treating pancreatic cancer remains one of the major challenges in the field of medical oncology. We conducted this phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of regional hyperthermia combined with gemcitabine for the treatment of unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Eligibility criteria included histologically proven, locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Gemcitabine was administered intravenously at a dose of 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks. Regional hyperthermia was performed once weekly, 1 day preceding or following gemcitabine administration. The primary end point was the 1-year survival rate. Secondary objectives were determination of tumour response and safety.

Results: We enrolled 18 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer between November 2008 and May 2010. The major grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia and anaemia; however, there were no episodes of infection. The objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (ORR + stable disease) were 11.1% and 61.1%, respectively. Median overall survival (OS) was 8 months, and the 1-year survival rate was 33.3%. Median OS of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer was 17.7 months.

Conclusions: Regional hyperthermia combined with gemcitabine is well tolerated and active in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Survival Rate


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine