Most Read Articles
Rachel Soon, 4 days ago

On 8 August, the first town hall held by the Ministry of Health (MOH) with members of the pharmacy profession took place in Putrajaya. Over 500 pharmacists from across the country and from different areas of practice—community and hospital, public and private, academy and industry—converged to fill the auditorium for the chance to engage in direct dialogue with MOH.

Jackey Suen, 08 Oct 2018

Adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus an aromatase inhibitor (AI) improves progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer, the phase II PERTAIN study has shown.

05 Aug 2019
Use of alpha blockers in the treatment of hypertension in women is associated with an increased risk of hypotension and related events as compared with other blood pressure-lowering drugs, as reported in a recent study.
Laura Kho Sui San , 29 May 2019
Anxiety becomes a pathological disorder when it occurs for no detectable reason, persists and interferes with daily activities like work performance and relationships.

Second-line chemo regimen offers survival benefit in pancreatic cancer

Audrey Abella
31 Aug 2018

The combination of irinotecan, fluoropyrimidine (FP), and folinic acid (FA) offered progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benefit as second-line treatment for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer after first-line gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, according to a meta-analysis.

The eight randomized studies included in the analysis comprised 1,587 patients (mean age 63.7 years, 56.8 percent male) receiving second-line chemotherapy following gemcitabine-based first-line chemotherapy. The second-line chemotherapeutic agents evaluated were various combinations of irinotecan, FP, FA, and oxaliplatin. [Oncotarget 2018;9:29801-29809]

The combination of irinotecan-FP-FA bested all other combinations* used especially FP and FP-oxaliplatin in terms of PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.37 and HR, 0.31, respectively) and OS (HR, 0.55 and HR, 0.57, respectively).

Moreover, the irinotecan-FP-FA combination had the largest probability of being the best and average rank among all other combinations (mean, 1.56 and mean, 2.53 for PFS and OS, respectively).

These findings highlight the favourable survival benefit of a regimen that includes irinotecan as opposed to evidence underscoring the lack of significant survival benefit when using a second-line regimen based on either oxaliplatin or irinotecan. [Eur J Cancer 2017;81:174-182]

The results also concur with a previous meta-analysis which showed that regimens including FP were suitable treatment alternatives for disease progression after a gemcitabine-based chemo regimen, [Cancer 2017;123:4680-4686] as well as with other trials reflecting improved OS in patients who received a second-line regimen after nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine. [Br J Cancer 2016;115:188-194; J Clin Oncol 2016;34:4124; J Clin Oncol 2013;31:23-29]

Although gemcitabine monotherapy has been the cornerstone of first-line treatment for over 15 years, disease progression still warrants a second line of defence, noted the researchers. The Food and Drug Administration has approved irinotecan combined with 5-FU (fluorouracil) and FA, while the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommended FP alone or in combination with oxaliplatin or irinotecan as second-line chemotherapeutic alternatives. [J Clin Oncol 2016;34:2784-2796]

Nonetheless, results should be interpreted with caution considering that most of the trials were conducted in China and Japan, noted the researchers. “[T]he literature [reflects] evidence of heterogeneity between Western and Eastern countries in cancer treatment and in patient’s response,” they said. [J Clin Oncol 2011;29:4387-4393; Lancet 2012;379:315-321]

The researchers also recommended more randomized trials to establish the ideal second-line regimen for pancreatic cancer, which has a poor prognosis despite recent advances in cancer treatment. “[A]dditional indication for second-line treatment will depend on enhanced identification of biologic predictors of second-line therapy benefit, development of more active regimens, and investigation of the specific toxicity of each regimen.”

 

Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS Pharmacist - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Rachel Soon, 4 days ago

On 8 August, the first town hall held by the Ministry of Health (MOH) with members of the pharmacy profession took place in Putrajaya. Over 500 pharmacists from across the country and from different areas of practice—community and hospital, public and private, academy and industry—converged to fill the auditorium for the chance to engage in direct dialogue with MOH.

Jackey Suen, 08 Oct 2018

Adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus an aromatase inhibitor (AI) improves progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer, the phase II PERTAIN study has shown.

05 Aug 2019
Use of alpha blockers in the treatment of hypertension in women is associated with an increased risk of hypotension and related events as compared with other blood pressure-lowering drugs, as reported in a recent study.
Laura Kho Sui San , 29 May 2019
Anxiety becomes a pathological disorder when it occurs for no detectable reason, persists and interferes with daily activities like work performance and relationships.