Purpose Gemcitabine is the standard chemotherapy for patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Although the 5-fluorouracil (5FU), folinic acid and cisplatin combination (LV5FU2-CDDP) is an option, the optimal order of the regimens must be determined. The first strategic phase III trial comparing LV5FU2-CDDP followed by gemcitabine versus gemcitabine followed by LV5FU2-CDDP was conducted.
Methods Patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, performance status (PS) 0–2, without prior chemotherapy were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either LV5FU2-CDDP followed by gemcitabine at disease progression or toxicity (Arm A), or the opposite sequence (Arm B). 202 patients had to be included and 170 deaths had to be observed to detect an expected improvement in median overall survival (OS) from 6.5 to 10 months in Arm A (two-sided α = 5% and β = 20%).
Results 202 patients were included (Arm A, 102; Arm B, 100). Median age, male/female ratio, PS 0–1 and previous surgery were similar in the two arms. After a median follow-up of 44 months, median OS in Arm A was 6.6 months versus 8.0 months in Arm B (p = 0.85). Median progression-free survival was similar between Arms A and B. More grade 3/4 toxicities were observed when LV5FU2-CDDP was administered as a first-line treatment compared with gemcitabine: 79% versus 64% (p = 0.018).
Conclusion This trial did not show any strategic advantage to using LV5FU2-CDDP as a first-line treatment and suggests that gemcitabine remains the standard first-line treatment. Sixty-one per cent of patients were able to receive a second line of chemotherapy.
- Pancreatic cancer
- second line
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Presented at the 44nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2009, Chicago.
L D and F B contributed equally to this work.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Regional Ethics Committee (Marseilles, France).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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