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Outcomes in Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma With the Introduction of New Chemotherapeutic Drugs

10-Year Experience of a Single NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Zhang, Kevin J., MD*; Dyson, Greg, PhD; Gatz, Joshua L., MD*; Silverman, Michael E., MD*; Tesfaye, Anteneh A., MD; Shields, Anthony F., MD, PhD; Philip, Philip A., MD, PhD

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: March 2019 - Volume 42 - Issue 3 - p 243–246
doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000507
Original Articles: Gastrointestinal

Objectives: Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas represents the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Drug combinations, FOLFIRINOX (5-FU, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin) and gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel, showed a clinically meaningful benefit when compared with single-agent gemcitabine in phase III trials. The goal of this study was to investigate whether there was an increase in overall survival (OS) for patients treated for metastatic pancreatic cancer after the introduction of the above regimens.

Materials and Methods: Patients were grouped into 2 treatment eras that were before and after the introduction of these newer chemotherapeutic regimens; 2006-2010 and 2011-2015, respectively. Baseline demographics and disease-related variables were collected from metastatic pancreatic cancer treated at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.

Results: When stratified by treatment era, the later era had an improvement in survival (hazard ratio for death of 0.61; P=0.005). Median OS was 8.97 and 9.95 months for the earlier (n=59) versus latter era (n=99), respectively. There was an increase from 28.3% to 38.9% at 12 months between the earlier and later era, an improvement of 37.4%. African Americans had a worse outcome with a hazard ratio of 1.63 (P=0.02) for death. When comparing the eras, Caucasians had a longer median OS in each era in addition to having a greater improvement in median OS between eras.

Conclusions: There was a modest improvement in median OS between 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 with the introduction of newer chemotherapeutic regimens. However, there has been no significant improvement in outcomes for African Americans or in short-term survival.

*Wayne State University School of Medicine

Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Kevin J. Zhang, MD, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 142 Larchlea Dr., Birmingham, MI 48009. E-mail:

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