A single-arm, nonrandomized phase II trial of neoadjuvant gemcitabine and oxaliplatin in patients with resectable pancreas adenocarcinoma
BACKGROUND: The role for neoadjuvant systemic therapy in resectable pancreas adenocarcinoma remains undefined. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the efficacy of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin administered as preoperative therapy in patients with resectable pancreas adenocarcinoma. METHODS: Eligible patients were screened using computed tomography-pancreas angiography, laparoscopy, endoscopic ultrasonography, and fine-needle aspiration cytology to identify 38 patients who received 4 cycles of neoadjuvant gemcitabine 1000 mg/m intravenously over 100 minutes and oxaliplatin 80 mg/m intravenously over 2 hours, every 2 weeks. Patients whose tumors remained resectable at restaging proceeded to operation and subsequently received 5 cycles of adjuvant gemcitabine (1000 mg/m intravenously over 30 minutes days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks). The primary endpoint was 18-month overall survival and secondary endpoints included radiological, tumor marker and pathological response to neoadjuvant therapy, time to recurrence, patterns of failure, and feasibility of obtaining preoperative core biopsies. RESULTS: Thirty-five of 38 patients (92%) completed neoadjuvant therapy. Twenty-seven patients underwent tumor resection (resectability rate 71%), of which 26 initiated adjuvant therapy for a total of 23 patients (60.5%) who completed all planned therapy. The 18-month survival was 63% (24 patients alive). The median overall survival for all 38 patients was 27.2 months (95% confidence interval: 17-NA) and the median disease-specific survival was 30.6 months (95% confidence interval: 19-NA). CONCLUSIONS: This study met its endpoint and provided a signal suggesting that exploration of neoadjuvant systemic therapy is worthy of further investigation in resectable pancreas adenocarcinoma. Improved patient selection and more active systemic regimens are key. Clinical trials identification: NCT00536874.