Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA) is diagnosed in most cases at an advanced stage requiring chemotherapy. Folfirinox is the standard first-line treatment. After Folfirinox failure, gemcitabine alone is routinely used as second-line therapy without data supporting this attitude.
Determine the response rate and outcome of patients with advanced PA treated with gemcitabine after Folfirinox failure.
We retrospectively analyzed all consecutive patients treated with gemcitabine after Folfirinox failure for a locally advanced or metastatic PA between 2009 and 2015. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Response rate, control rate and tolerability were assessed.
96 patients were included (male, 51%; median age, 62; performance status (PS) 0-1, 47%). Median duration on gemcitabine was 2.1 months. The overall disease control rate was 40%. Median OS was 3.7 months (95%CI: 2.5-5.2) and median PFS was 2.1 months (95%CI: 2.0-2.6). Reasons for treatment discontinuation were mostly progression (51%). Age at diagnosis and PS were independently associated with OS in multivariate analysis (HR of 1.86; p=0.0055 and 2.42; p<0.0001 respectively). 34 patients experienced a grade 3 adverse event.
This study suggests that gemcitabine is not beneficial to all patients failing on Folfirinox first-line therapy and should be restricted to young patients with good PS.