Chemo Regimen Helps Control Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
“Disease control is key in our patients with locally advanced disease, as it may lead to opportunities for additional treatment interventions, including radiotherapy, or even, in some favorable cases, surgical resection,” said lead study author Pascal Hammel, M.D., Ph.D.
BY Silas Inman
PUBLISHED March 23, 2018
INDUCTION TREATMENT WITH TWO chemotherapies — Abraxane (nabpaclitaxel) and Gemzar (gemcitabine) — demonstrated a time to treatment failure of 8.8 months for patients with newly diagnosed, locally advanced pancreatic cancer, according to updated findings from the phase 2 LAPACT trial.
In the single-arm, international trial, the Abraxane regimen elicited an objective response rate of 32 percent. The overall disease control rate was 77.6 percent. The median progression-free survival was 10.8 months with the combination, and the 12-month overall survival rate was 72 percent.
“Disease control is key in our patients with locally advanced disease, as it may lead to opportunities for additional treatment interventions, including radiotherapy, or even, in some favorable cases, surgical resection,” said lead study author Pascal Hammel, M.D., Ph.D., a gastroenterologist/ oncologist at Hôpital Beaujon in Clichy, France. “The results from this study are encouraging, as it shows that induction therapy has the potential to help us achieve disease control in these locally advanced patients.”
The study enrolled 106 patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. None had received prior therapy for pancreatic cancer and all had disease that was classified as inoperable.
All six cycles of induction therapy were completed by 57.5 percent of participants. Overall, 15 percent of patients went on to surgical resection following treatment with the regimen. Those who completed induction but did not receive surgery went on to chemoradiation (16 percent) or continued Abraxane and Gemzar (11 percent).
The most frequently observed serious treatment-emergent side effects were reduced white blood cell count (42 percent) and anemia (11 percent), and, in 10 percent of patients or less, fatigue, low blood platelet count, nerve dysfunction causing numbness or weakness, diarrhea and low white blood cell count with fever.
The combination of Abraxane and Gemzar was approved for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer in 2013. Since then, “the regimen has become a standard of care in firstline metastatic pancreatic cancer,” Nadim Ahmed, president of hematology and oncology for the regimen’s developer, Celgene, said in a statement. “The findings from LAPACT offer insight into the potential of Abraxane-based treatment for locally advanced pancreatic cancer patients, and it’s encouraging to see a nearly ninemonth time-to-treatment failure in these patients treated with an Abraxane regimen.”