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Invest New Drugs. 2012 Aug;30(4):1597-606. doi: 10.1007/s10637-011-9691-8. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

A phase II randomized study of cetuximab and bevacizumab alone or in combination with gemcitabine as first-line therapy for metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California at San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, 4th Floor, Box 1705, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab plus cetuximab with or without gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, previously untreated, were randomized to bevacizumab (10 mg/kg q2w) plus cetuximab (400/250 mg/m(2) initial/weekly), either with (Arm A) or without (Arm B) gemcitabine (1000 mg/m(2) weekly × 3 of 4 weeks). Tumor assessments were performed q8w. Primary study endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Sixty-one patients were randomized to Arm A (n = 30) or Arm B (n = 31). Median treatment duration was 9 weeks in Arm A and 8 weeks in Arm B (range, 2.0-40.4). Patients in Arm A had median PFS and overall survival values of 3.55 months and 5.41 months, respectively, compared to 1.91 months and 4.17 months in Arm B. The study closed early due to lack of sufficient efficacy in both treatment arms. Although both regimens were well tolerated, patients treated with gemcitabine experienced more grade 3-4 toxicities, including proteinuria and thromboembolic events. The combination of cetuximab and bevacizumab did not result in promising activity with or without gemcitabine, suggesting that a strategy of dual EGFR/VEGF inhibition in pancreatic cancer does not warrant further development. To our knowledge, this is one of the first trials to evaluate a completely noncytotoxic regimen in the first-line treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. ( number, NCT00326911).

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