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From Medicineworld.org: Tarceva (Erlotinib) improves survival in pancreatic cancer

Pancreas cancer Pancreas cancer resources Pancreas news  

Tarceva (Erlotinib) improves survival in pancreatic cancer

Findings from a study combination of small molecule EGFR Tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer has shown to improve survival. This study was presented at 2005 ASCO gastro-intestinal Cancer symposium that was held in Hollywood, FL. The study was presented by Dr. Moore and colleagues form the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Gemcitabine is the standard first line therapy for pancreatic cancer. Several gemcitabine based chemotherapy combinations were studied for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, but none of these combination chemotherapies showed any significant benefit over single agent gemcitabine in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Targeted therapies have recently entered in to the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Overall survival was the end point of this phase III trial comparing the combination of elotinib plus gemcitabine to gemcitabine plus placebo in advanced pancreatic cancer.

Eligible patients had advanced pancreatic cancer and had not received any prior chemotherapies except that was given with radiation therapy. EGFR over-expression was not required to be enrolled in to the study.

Gemcitabine dose was 1000mg/m2/week IV for 7 of first 8 weeks, followed by weekly for 3 weeks with one weeks break. Patients were randomized to receive placebo, 100mg/day or erlotinib or 150mg/day of erlotinib.

A total of 569 patients were treated with gemcitabine plus erlotinib (including both dose levels) and 284 patients were treated with gemcitabine plus placebo.

Gemcitabine plus erlotinib arm Vs gemcitbine plus placebo arm showed the following results respectively

  • No significant increase in objective response rate (8% Vs 9%)
  • Increased overall survival (6.37 months Vs 5.9 months) p=.025
  • Improved one-year survival (24% Vs 17%)
  • Median time to progression (3.75 months Vs 3.55 months) p=.003
  • Skin rash increased (6% Vs 1%)
  • Diarrhea increase (6% Vs 2%)
  • Overall grade 3 to 4 adverse events were not significantly increased with the addition of erlotinib to gemcitabine.

  • Did you know?
    Findings from a study combination of small molecule EGFR Tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer has shown to improve survival. This study was presented at 2005 ASCO gastro-intestinal Cancer symposium that was held in Hollywood, FL. The study was presented by Dr. Moore and colleagues form the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

    Medicineworld.org: Tarceva (Erlotinib) improves survival in pancreatic cancer

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