Background

Limited second-line therapeutic options are available for metastasis pancreatic cancer (mPC). We aimed to explore the efficacy and safety of oxaliplatin plus irinotecan (IROX) in mPC patients.

Methods

This is an open-label, Phase 2, randomized study of mPC patients (aged 18–75 years) who failed when using gemcitabine plus S-1 as first-line therapy. Block randomization with a block size of four was used to randomly assign patients (1:1) between October 2015 and December 2017 to receive either IROX (oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 and irinotecan 160 mg/m2) or irinotecan monotherapy (irinotecan 180 mg/m2) until disease progression, unacceptable adverse events, or consent withdrawal. The primary end point was overall survival, and the secondary end points were progression-free survival, overall response rate, and adverse event rate.

Results

A total of 74 patients were enrolled in this study, including 44 males and 30 females, with an average age of 61 years. The median overall survival was 10.2 and 6.7 months (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4–1.2; P =0.20) and the median progression-free survival was 5.1 and 2.3 months (adjusted HR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2–0.6; P < 0.01) in the IROX group and irinotecan group, respectively. The overall response rates were 18.4% (7/38) in the IROX group and 5.5% (2/36) in the irinotecan group (P =0.06). Grade 3–4 adverse events occurred in 34% (13/38) of patients in the IROX group and 19% (7/36) of patients in the irinotecan group (P =0.15).

Conclusions

IROX had no significant survival benefit over irinotecan monotherapy in our study. However, IROX reduced the risk of disease progression by 60%, with acceptable toxicity.

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