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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 94

of 'Chemotherapy for advanced exocrine pancreatic cancer'

Definitive results of a phase II trial of cisplatin, epirubicin, continuous-infusion fluorouracil, and gemcitabine in stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Reni M, Passoni P, Panucci MG, Nicoletti R, Galli L, Balzano G, Zerbi A, Di Carlo V, Villa E
J Clin Oncol. 2001;19(10):2679.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a cisplatin, epirubicin, gemcitabine, and fluorouracil (PEF-G) schedule on stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients<or = 70 years, with no prior chemotherapy and with bidimensionally measurable stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status<or = 2, and adequate bone marrow, kidney, and liver function were eligible for this trial. Eligibility criteria for clinical benefit assessment were pain with at least a daily analgesic consumption of two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or Karnofsky performance status between 50 and 70. Treatment consisted of 40 mg/m2 each of cisplatin and epirubicin day 1, gemcitabine 600 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 4 weeks, and fluorouracil 200 mg/m2/d as a protracted venous infusion.
RESULTS: Between April 1997 and April 1999, 49 patients from a single institution were eligible for the study. Altogether, 203 cycles (median, four cycles) of PEF-G were delivered. Theobjective response rate was 58% in 43 assessable patients and 51% in the intent-to-treat population. Fourteen patients had stable disease. Grade 3 or 4 World Health Organization neutropenia occurred in 51% of cycles, thrombocytopenia in 28%, anemia in 7%, stomatitis in 5%, and diarrhea, and nausea, and vomiting in 2%. The median duration of response was 8.5 months. The median time to tumor progression was 7.5 months. The median survival was 11 months in the assessable population and 10 months in the intent-to-treat population. Clinical benefit was achieved in 22 (78%) of 28 assessable patients.
CONCLUSION: PEF-G is a well-tolerated and safe regimen; it obtained a very high rate of durable responses and deserves further evaluation in a phase III trial.
Department of Radiochemotherapy, San Raffaele H. Scientific Institution, Milan, Italy. reni.michele@hrs.it