A Phase II Trial of Etoposide, Leucovorin, 5-FU, and Interferon Alpha 2b (ELFI) + G-CSF for Patients with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: a Southwest Oncology Group Study (SWOG 9413)
PURPOSE To assess the effect of gemcitabine in patients with metastatic pancreas cancer that had progressed despite prior treatment with 5-FU. PATIENTS AND METHODS Seventy-four patients were enrolled in this multicenter trial. Alleviation of cancer-related symptoms was the primary endpoint. Sixty-three patients completed a pain stabilization period and were treated with gemcitabine. Clinical Benefit Response was defined as a > or = 50% reduction in pain intensity, > or = 50% reduction in daily analgesic consumption, or > or = 20 point improvement in KPS that was sustained for > or = 4 consecutive weeks. RESULTS Seventeen of 63 pts (27.0%) attained a Clinical Benefit Response (95% CI: 16.0%-38.0%). The median duration of Clinical Benefit Response was 14 weeks (range: 4-69 weeks). Median survival for patients treated with gemcitabine was 3.85 months (range: 0.3-18.0+ months). Therapy was generally well-tolerated with a low incidence of grade 3 or 4 toxicities. CONCLUSION Systematic assessment of subjective outcomes can be used to evaluate the clinical impact of new therapies for pancreas cancer, a highly symptomatic disease. Our findings suggest that gemcitabine is a useful palliative agent in patients with 5-FU-refractory pancreas cancer.