FOLFIRINOX or Gemcitabine as Adjuvant Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

N Engl J Med. 2018 Dec 20;379(25):2395-2406. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1809775.

Abstract

Background: Among patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, combination chemotherapy with fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) leads to longer overall survival than gemcitabine therapy. We compared the efficacy and safety of a modified FOLFIRINOX regimen with gemcitabine as adjuvant therapy in patients with resected pancreatic cancer.

Methods: We randomly assigned 493 patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to receive a modified FOLFIRINOX regimen (oxaliplatin [85 mg per square meter of body-surface area], irinotecan [180 mg per square meter, reduced to 150 mg per square meter after a protocol-specified safety analysis], leucovorin [400 mg per square meter], and fluorouracil [2400 mg per square meter] every 2 weeks) or gemcitabine (1000 mg per square meter on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks) for 24 weeks. The primary end point was disease-free survival. Secondary end points included overall survival and safety.

Results: At a median follow-up of 33.6 months, the median disease-free survival was 21.6 months in the modified-FOLFIRINOX group and 12.8 months in the gemcitabine group (stratified hazard ratio for cancer-related event, second cancer, or death, 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46 to 0.73; P<0.001). The disease-free survival rate at 3 years was 39.7% in the modified-FOLFIRINOX group and 21.4% in the gemcitabine group. The median overall survival was 54.4 months in the modified-FOLFIRINOX group and 35.0 months in the gemcitabine group (stratified hazard ratio for death, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.86; P=0.003). The overall survival rate at 3 years was 63.4% in the modified-FOLFIRINOX group and 48.6% in the gemcitabine group. Adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 75.9% of the patients in the modified-FOLFIRINOX group and in 52.9% of those in the gemcitabine group. One patient in the gemcitabine group died from toxic effects (interstitial pneumonitis).

Conclusions: Adjuvant therapy with a modified FOLFIRINOX regimen led to significantly longer survival than gemcitabine among patients with resected pancreatic cancer, at the expense of a higher incidence of toxic effects. (Funded by R&D Unicancer and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01526135 ; EudraCT number, 2011-002026-52 .).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / adverse effects
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Leucovorin / adverse effects
  • Leucovorin / therapeutic use*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds / adverse effects
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies

Substances

  • Drug Combinations
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • folfirinox
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Irinotecan
  • gemcitabine
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil

Associated data

  • EudraCT/2011-002026-52
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01526135