Effect of adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil plus folinic acid or gemcitabine vs observation on survival in patients with resected periampullary adenocarcinoma: the ESPAC-3 periampullary cancer randomized trial.

Institute of Translational Medicine, Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit, Liverpool Cancer Research United Kingdom Centre, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 07/2012; 308(2):147-56. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.7352
Source: PubMed


Patients with periampullary adenocarcinomas undergo the same resectional surgery as that of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Although adjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to have a survival benefit for pancreatic cancer, there have been no randomized trials for periampullary adenocarcinomas.
To determine whether adjuvant chemotherapy (fluorouracil or gemcitabine) provides improved overall survival following resection.
The European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC)-3 periampullary trial, an open-label, phase 3, randomized controlled trial (July 2000-May 2008) in 100 centers in Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada. Of the 428 patients included in the primary analysis, 297 had ampullary, 96 had bile duct, and 35 had other cancers.
One hundred forty-four patients were assigned to the observation group, 143 patients to receive 20 mg/m2 of folinic acid via intravenous bolus injection followed by 425 mg/m2 of fluorouracil via intravenous bolus injection administered 1 to 5 days every 28 days, and 141 patients to receive 1000 mg/m2 of intravenous infusion of gemcitabine once a week for 3 of every 4 weeks for 6 months.
The primary outcome measure was overall survival with chemotherapy vs no chemotherapy; secondary measures were chemotherapy type, toxic effects, progression-free survival, and quality of life.
Eighty-eight patients (61%) in the observation group, 83 (58%) in the fluorouracil plus folinic acid group, and 73 (52%) in the gemcitabine group died. In the observation group, the median survival was 35.2 months (95%% CI, 27.2-43.0 months) and was 43.1 (95%, CI, 34.0-56.0) in the 2 chemotherapy groups (hazard ratio, 0.86; (95% CI, 0.66-1.11; χ2 = 1.33; P = .25). After adjusting for independent prognostic variables of age, bile duct cancer, poor tumor differentiation, and positive lymph nodes and after conducting multiple regression analysis, the hazard ratio for chemotherapy compared with observation was 0.75 (95% CI, 0.57-0.98; Wald χ2 = 4.53, P = .03).
Among patients with resected periampullary adenocarcinoma, adjuvant chemotherapy, compared with observation, was not associated with a significant survival benefit in the primary analysis; however, multivariable analysis adjusting for prognostic variables demonstrated a statistically significant survival benefit associated with adjuvant chemotherapy.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00058201.

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Available from: Sergio Pedrazzoli, Dec 29, 2014
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    • "To increase the identification of novel biomarkers, blood and tissue samples should be collected from all patients in clinical trials. This practice is already being performed routinely in trials conducted by the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC) [36] [37] [40] [124], which has accumulated a wealth of samples for future analysis and provides an excellent resource for future studies of the disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which accounts for more than 90% of all pancreatic tumours, is a devastating malignancy with an extremely poor prognosis, as shown by a 1-year survival rate of around 18% for all stages of the disease. The low survival rates associated with PDAC primarily reflect the fact that tumours progress rapidly with few specific symptoms and are thus at an advanced stage at diagnosis in most patients. As a result, there is an urgent need to develop accurate markers of pre-invasive pancreatic neoplasms in order to facilitate prediction of cancer risk and to help diagnose the disease at an earlier stage. However, screening for early diagnosis of prostate cancer remains challenging and identifying a highly accurate, low-cost screening test for early PDAC for use in clinical practice remains an important unmet need. More effective therapies are also crucial in PDAC, since progress in identifying novel therapies has been hampered by the genetic complexity of the disease and treatment remains a major challenge. Presently, the greatest step towards improved treatment efficacy has been made in the field of palliative chemotherapy by introducing FOLFIRINOX (folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin) and gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel. Strategies designed to raise the profile of PDAC in research and clinical practice are a further requirement in order to ensure the best treatment for patients. This article proposes a number of approaches that may help to accelerate progress in treating patients with PDAC, which, in turn, may be expected to improve the quality of life and survival for those suffering from this devastating disease.
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    • "This is in contrast to the known benefit of adjuvant treatment in pancreas cancer [166]. A similar randomized trial was conducted recruiting a population of CCA, small bowel, ampullary and peri-ampullary cancers to receive 5-FU or Gemcitabine [167]. The 96 patients in the CCA group did not appear to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy with either drug but these data are clearly underpowered to support any significant outcome. "

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    • "The ESPAC-3 trial was a multicenter RCT of adjuvant chemotherapy versus observation with periampullary adenocarcinoma. Although multivariable analysis with adjustment for prognostic variables demonstrated a statistically significant survival benefit associated with adjuvant chemotherapy, median survival time from the primary analysis in the chemotherapy group did not significantly differ from that in the observation group [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a phase I study to determine the maximum tolerated dose and recommended dose (RD) of this gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC) combination in the adjuvant setting for biliary tract cancer (BTC). GC has become a standard chemotherapy regimen for patients with locally advanced or metastatic BTC; however, the benefit of adjuvant therapy for BTC is unclear. Patients with BTC were eligible if they met the following criteria: Stage IB or higher; and undergoing resection without major hepatectomy. The starting dose matched the standard dose of gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2)) and cisplatin (25 mg/m(2)) on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks for up to 24 weeks. The dose limiting toxicities (DLTs) were determined during the first 6 weeks, and a 3+3 dose finding design with cohorts of 3-6 patients was used. Further cohort expansion took place. One DLT, namely grade 4 neutropenia, was observed among six patients at the starting dosages. Then, we expanded the cohort with a total of eighteen patients to evaluate RD and no further DLTs were observed. During the entire study, the most common grade 3/4 adverse events were neutropenia (94 %) and leucopenia (56 %). Non-hematological toxicities were manageable. We defined the standard dose of GC as the RD for adjuvant chemotherapy for BTC treated by curative resection without major hepatectomy. Further study is warranted to clarify the safety and efficacy of this regimen for all patients.
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