Background: Our retrospective study and phase I trial of gemcitabine and candesartan combination therapy suggested the inhibition of renin-angiotensin system potentially has a role in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. The aim of this multicenter phase II trial was to assess the efficacy and toxicity of gemcitabine and candesartan combination therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer.
Methods: Chemotherapy-naive patients with histologically or cytologically proven advanced pancreatic cancer were enrolled. Gemcitabine was administered at a dose of 1,000 mg/m(2) over 30 min on days 1, 8, and 15 and oral candesartan at a dose of 16 mg in normotensive patients, and 8 mg initially in hypertensive patients, with dose escalation to 16 mg allowed, from days 1 to 28, repeated every 4 weeks.
Results: A total of 35 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer were enrolled. Overall response rate and disease control rate were 11.4 % and 62.9 %. The median PFS and OS were 4.3 and 9.1 months with 1-year survival rate of 34.2 %. The median PFS was significantly longer in patients receiving 16 mg compared with 8 mg of candesartan (4.6 vs. 3.5 months, p=0.031). Major severe toxicities were neutropenia (23 %), leukopenia (17 %) and thrombocytopenia (11 %). Grade 2 hypotension was observed in 3 patients (9 %) and candesartan was discontinued in 2 patients due to hypotension. Conclusions In this multicenter phase 2 trial, gemcitabine and candesartan combination therapy was tolerable but failed to demonstrate activity against advanced pancreatic cancer. (UMIN CTR: UMIN000005580).