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Chemotherapy. 2008;54(1):54-62. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Fixed dose rate infusion of gemcitabine with oral doxifluridine and leucovorin for advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer: a phase II study.

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  • 1Divisions of Hematology-Oncology, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.


The standard beneficial chemotherapy proven for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is a regimen containing gemcitabine. In the pregemcitabine era, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was the standard agent. Oral 5-FU can be added to gemcitabine to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy and to provide better patient convenience. The possibility to improve efficacy of gemcitabine by fixed dose rate infusion (FDRI) was proposed in addition to combining it with 5-FU. We tried a new chemotherapy combining FDRI of gemcitabine with doxifluridine and leucovorin. Eligibility criteria were pathologically proven, chemotherapy-naïve, and metastatic or nonoperable advanced pancreatic cancer. Gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) was infused over 100 min (days 1, 8 and 15). Doxifluridine 200 mg/m(2) t.i.d. and leucovorin 15 mg b.i.d. were given orally (days 1-21). Chemotherapy was repeated every 28 days until a patient had received 6 cycles or progression was found. Twenty-nine patients were enrolled from October 2002 to December 2004. A total of 78 cycles were given at a mean of 2.7 cycles per patient. Response could be evaluated in 26 patients. Responses were partial remission in 4/26 patients (15.4%), stable disease in 8/26 (30.8%) and progression in 14/26 (53.8%). All patients progressed except for 2 in partial remission and 2 in stable disease. Toxicities could be assessed in 23 patients. Maximal hematological toxicities greater than grade 2 were leucopenia in 3 patients (11.5%), neutropenia in 2 (7.7%), anemia in 2 (7.7%), thrombocytopenia in 1 (3.8%) and febrile neutropenia in 3 (11.5%). Maximal nonhematological grade 3 or 4 toxicities were asthenia in 1 patient (3.8%), anorexia in 1 (3.8%), vomiting in 1 (3.8%), diarrhea in 2 (7.7%), allergic reaction in 1 (3.8%), hand-foot syndrome in 1 (3.8%) and hyperbilirubinemia in 1 (3.8%). All 29 patients were dead on last follow-up. Median progression-free survival was 3.91 months in 26 evaluable patients and median overall survival was 5.59 months in all patients. Combination chemotherapy including FDRI of gemcitabine seems minimally active for patients with advanced, nonoperable pancreatic cancer. Further research to improve effectiveness of chemotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer is mandatory.

(c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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