Purpose: This phase III trial compared the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine (Gem) plus capecitabine (GemCap) versus single-agent Gem in advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer. Patients and Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to receive GemCap (oral capecitabine 650 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1 to 14 plus Gem 1,000 mg/m2 by 30-minute infusion on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks) or Gem (1,000 mg/m2 by 30-minute infusion weekly for 7 weeks, followed by a 1-week break, and then weekly for 3 weeks every 4 weeks). Patients were stratified according to center, Kamofsky performance score (KPS), presence of pain, and disease extent. Results: A total of 319 patients were enrolled between June 2001 and June 2004. Median overall survival (OS) time, the primary end point, was 8.4 and 7.2 months in the GemCap and Gem arms, respectively (P = .234). Post hoc analysis in patients with good KPS (score of 90 to 100) showed a significant prolongation of median OS time in the GemCap arm compared with the Gem arm (10.1 v 7.4 months, respectively; P = .014). The overall frequency of grade 3 or 4 adverse events was similar in each arm. Neutropenia was the most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse event in both arms. Conclusion: GemCap failed to improve OS at a statistically significant level compared with standard Gem treatment. The safety of GemCap and Gem was similar. In the subgroup of patients with good performance status, median OS was improved significantly. GemCap is a practical regimen that may be considered as an alternative to single-agent Gem for the treatment of advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer patients with a good performance status.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research