Background: Despite continued investigation, limited progress has been made in the adjuvant treatment of resected pancreatic cancer. Novel or targeted therapies are needed.
Methods: Multi-institutional, open-label, dose-finding, phase 2 trial evaluating the use of algenpantucel-L (NewLink Genetics Corporation, Ames, IA) immunotherapy in addition to chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy in the adjuvant setting for resected pancreatic cancer (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00569387). The primary outcome was 12-month disease-free survival. Secondary outcomes included overall survival and toxicity.
Results: Seventy patients were treated with gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy as well as algenpantucel-L (mean 12 doses, range 1-14). After a median follow-up of 21 months, the 12-month disease-free survival was 62 %, and the 12-month overall survival was 86 %. The most common adverse events were injection site pain and induration.
Conclusions: The addition of algenpantucel-L to standard adjuvant therapy for resected pancreatic cancer may improve survival. A multi-institutional, phase 3 study is ongoing (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01072981).