The nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine regimen for patients with refractory advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma
The phase III MPACT trial for metastatic pancreatic cancer (PC) showed improved overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS) and response rates (RRs) for first-line nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and gemcitabine (the AG combination) compared to gemcitabine monotherapy. The safety and efficacy of the AG combination has not been systematically studied as second-line therapy or beyond for metastatic PC. We conducted an IRB-approved retrospective analysis of all patients diagnosed between September 2010 and August 2014 with advanced refractory PC that received combination treatment with AG at our institution. Demographic and survival data were extracted from the registry. Patients received nab-paclitaxel 125 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 and on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle with subsequent dose modifications based on tolerance. Data on 59 patients was available; the median age was 61; 55% were male; 56% received AG as second line therapy and 44% received it as third-line or beyond. Five (10%) patients had a confirmed partial response (PR), 23 (47%) had stable disease (SD) and 21 (43%) had disease progression as their best response. Among the 31 (52%) patients who received prior gemcitabine, 18 (58%) had clinical benefit; 3 had a PR and 15 had SD. The median OS was 3.9 months and the median progression-free survival was 3 months. Toxicity was similar to what was reported in the MPACT trial. This retrospective analysis suggests that AG is active in PC patients previously treated with either fluoropyrimidine-based therapy or gemcitabine-based therapy with manageable toxicities.