Cytotoxic chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer: Advances to date and future directions.
Chemotherapy remains the mainstay of treatment for pancreatic cancer as most patients present with advanced disease, which precludes locoregional treatment. However, the efficacy of chemotherapy is limited. Gemcitabine is the only agent that improves symptoms and confers a modest survival advantage. Many combination therapy regimens have been studied in phase II settings. Eleven randomised phase III trials have been conducted to compare gemcitabine-containing regimens with gemcitabine monotherapy since gemcitabine became available clinically. The combination of gemcitabine plus capecitabine has demonstrated a survival advantage over gemcitabine, whereas gemcitabine plus oxaliplatin and gemcitabine plus cisplatin have shown improved progression-free survival or time to tumour progression but failed to demonstrate a survival advantage over gemcitabine. The search for effective therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer continues. Gemcitabine in combination with cytotoxic agents or molecular targeted agents hold promise.
Xiong, HQ; Carr, K; Abbruzzese, JL
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