Christelle de la Fouchardiere, MD, on Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Phase III Trial Results With Gemcitabine Plus Paclitaxel

ESMO Congress 2022


Christelle de la Fouchardiere, MD, of France’s Centre Léon Bérard, discusses phase III findings from the PRODIGE 65–UCGI 36–GEMPAX UNICANCER study, which evaluated whether the combination of gemcitabine and paclitaxel improves overall survival compared with gemcitabine alone in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma after FOLFIRINOX failure or intolerance (Abstract LBA60).


Disclaimer: This video transcript has not been proofread or edited and may contain errors.
The GEMPAX study is a phase III randomized trial comparing in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma second-line therapy with gemcitabine and paclitaxel versus gemcitabine alone. The primary endpoint of this study was overhaul survival. Patients included were having metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, they were having experienced disease progression of failure after FOLFIRINOX, and maintaining a good ECOG performance status. They were randomized with a 2:1 ratio between GEMPAX, the weekly combination of gemcitabine and paclitaxel, 3 weeks over 4 versus gemcitabine alone. They stopped treatment at disease progression or toxicity. There were four stratification factors, ECOG PS, CA19-9 at baseline, first-line PFS, and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio. The main results of this study is that we didn't observe any significant benefit in overall survival with the addition of paclitaxel to gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in this setting. But this is the first prospective phase III trial evaluating second-line therapy after FOLFIRINOX and we observe a good improvement of progression-free survival, a significant one, and also a significant increase in overall response rate, which is highly clinically relevant in this poor prognosis disease. Furthermore, we observed more treatment discontinuation in the GEMPAX arm and also imbalance in third-line therapies that could explain the absence of overall survival benefit. Then, we think that gemcitabine plus paclitaxel may be the standard second-line therapy after FOLFIRINOX failure or intolerance in metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients. A substantial proportion of patients in this study received third-line therapies, reflecting the eye medical need, and also the requiring further clinical trials for this pathology.

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