The majority of advanced biliary tract cancer (ABTC) patients will progress after gemcitabine and cisplatin (GP) doublet therapy, while the standard second-line regimen has not been established. We conducted this study to assess the efficacy and safety of second-line irinotecan and capecitabine (XELIRI) regimen vs. irinotecan monotherapy in ABTC patients progressed on GP.
Sixty-four GP refractory ABTC patients were randomised to either irinotecan 180 mg/m2 on day 1 plus capecitabine 1000 mg/m2twice daily on days 1-10 of a 14-day cycle (XELIRI-arm) or single-agent irinotecan 180 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 14-day cycle (IRI-arm). Treatments were repeated until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurred.
A total of 60 patients were included in the analysis. For XELIRI and IRI-arms, respectively, the median PFS was 3.7 vs. 2.4 months, 9-month survival rate 60.9% vs. 32.0%, median OS 10.1 vs. 7.3 months, and disease control rate 63.3% vs. 50.0%. The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicities were leucopaenia and neutropaenia.
This randomised, phase II study of irinotecan-containing regimens in good PS second-line ABTC patients showed a clear benefit of XELIRI regimen over irinotecan monotherapy in prolonging PFS, with acceptable toxicity.