Neoadjuvant plus adjuvant or only adjuvant nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine for resectable pancreatic cancer - the NEONAX trial (AIO-PAK-0313), a prospective, randomized, controlled, phase II study of the AIO pancreatic cancer group

BMC Cancer. 2018 Dec 29;18(1):1298. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-5183-y.

Abstract

Background: Even clearly resectable pancreatic cancer still has an unfavorable prognosis. Neoadjuvant or perioperative therapies might improve the prognosis of these patients. Thus, evaluation of perioperative chemotherapy in resectable pancreatic cancer in a prospective, randomized trial is warranted. A substantial improvement in overall survival of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer with FOLFIRINOX and nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine vs standard gemcitabine has been demonstrated in phase III-trials. Indeed nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine has a more favorable toxicity profile compared to the FOLFIRINOX protocol and appears applicable in a perioperative setting.

Methods: NEONAX is an interventional, prospective, randomized, controlled, open label, two sided phase II study with an unconnected analysis of the results in both experimental arms against a fixed survival probability (38% at 18 months with adjuvant gemcitabine), NCT02047513. NEONAX will enroll 166 patients with resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (≤ cT3, N0 or N1, cM0) in two arms: Arm A (perioperative arm): 2 cycles nab-paclitaxel (125 mg/m2)/gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2, d1, 8 and 15 of an 28 day-cycle) followed by tumor surgery followed by 4 cycles nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine, Arm B (adjuvant arm): tumor surgery followed by 6 cycles nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine. The randomization (1:1) is eminent to avoid allocation bias between the groups. Randomization is stratified for tumor stage (ct1/2 vs. cT3) and lymph node status (cN0 vs. cN1). Primary objective is disease free survival (DFS) at 18 months after randomization. Key secondary objectives are 3-year overall survival (OS) rate and DFS rate, progression during neoadjuvant therapy, R0 and R1 resection rate, quality of life and correlation of DFS, OS and tumor regression with pharmacogenomic markers, tumor biomarkers and molecular analyses (ctDNA, transcriptome, miRNA-arrays). In addition, circulating tumor-DNA will be analyzed in patients with the best and the worst responses to the neoadjuvant treatment. The study was initiated in March 2015 in 26 centers for pancreatic surgery in Germany.

Discussion: The NEONAX trial is an innovative study on resectable pancreatic cancer and currently one of the largest trials in this field of research. It addresses the question of the role of intensified perioperative treatment with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine in resectable pancreatic cancers to improve disease-free survival and offers a unique potential for translational research.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov : NCT02047513, 08/13/2014.

Keywords: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Pancreatic cancer; Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Perioperative chemotherapy; Resectable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Albumins / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Leucovorin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy / methods
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • 130-nm albumin-bound paclitaxel
  • Albumins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • folfirinox
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Irinotecan
  • gemcitabine
  • Paclitaxel
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil