Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor pathway in pancreatic cancer seems to be an attractive therapeutic approach. This study assessed the efficacy of cetuximab plus the combination of gemcitabine/oxaliplatin in metastatic pancreatic cancer. Eligible subjects had histological or cytological diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The primary end point was response according to RECIST. Patients received cetuximab 400 mg m−2 at first infusion followed by weekly 250 mg m−2 combined with gemcitabine 1000 mg m−2 as a 100 min infusion on day 1 and oxaliplatin 100 mg m−2 as a 2-h infusion on day 2 every 2 weeks. Between January 2005 and August 2006, a total of 64 patients (22 women (34%), 42 men (66%); median age 64 years (range 31–78)) were enrolled at seven study centres. On October 2007, a total of 17 patients were alive. Sixty-two patients were evaluable for baseline and 61 for assessment of response to treatment in an intention-to-treat analysis. Six patients had an incomplete drug combination within the first cycle of the treatment plan (n=4 hypersensitivity reactions to the first cetuximab infusion, n=2 refused to continue therapy). Reported grade 3/4 toxicities (% of patients) were leukopaenia 15%, anaemia 8%, thrombocytopaenia 10%, diarrhoea 7%, nausea 18%, infection 18% and allergy 7%. Cetuximab-attributable skin reactions occurred as follows: grade 0: 20%, grade 1: 41%, grade 2: 30% and grade 3: 10%. The intention-to-treat analysis of 61 evaluable patients showed an overall response rate of 33%, including 1 (2%) complete and 19 (31%) partial remissions. There were 31% patients with stable and 36% with progressive disease or discontinuation of the therapy before re-staging. The presence of a grade 2 or higher skin rash was associated with a higher likelihood of achieving objective response. Median time to progression was 118 days, with a median overall survival of 213 days. A clinical benefit response was noted in 24 of the evaluable 61 patients (39%). The addition of cetuximab to the combination of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin is well tolerated but does not increase response or survival in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.