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Cancer Invest. 2004;22(5):706-12.

Herceptin and gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancers that overexpress HER-2/neu.

Author information

1
The Brown University Oncology Group, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. hsafran@lifespan.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the response rate and toxicities of Herceptin and gemcitabine for patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinomas that overexpress HER-2/neu.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer with 2+/3 + HER-2/neu expression by immunohistochemistry were eligible. Patients received gemcitabine, 1 g/m2/week, for 7 of 8 weeks followed by 3 of every 4 weeks, and Herceptin, 4 mg/kg loading dose, followed by 2 mg/kg/week.

RESULTS:

Screening logs demonstrated the rate of HER-2/neu overexpression was 16%. Thirty-four patients were enrolled. Thirty patients (88%) had pancreatic cancers with 2+ overexpression and 4 patients (12%) had 3+ overexpression. Toxicity was similar to gemcitabine alone. Confirmed partial responses were observed in 2 of 32 patients (6%). Thirteen of 32 patients (41%) had either a partial response or a >50% reduction in CA 19-9. The median survival for all 34 patients was 7 months, and the 1-year survival was 19%.

CONCLUSION:

The response rate of Herceptin and gemcitabine is similar to gemcitabine alone. The 7-month median survival in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer suggests there may be a modest benefit for some patients. Infrequent HER-2/neu overexpression limits the role of targeting the HER-2/neu gene and prevents definitive conclusions on the addition of Herceptin to gemcibine for patients with pancreatic cancer.

PMID:
15581051
DOI:
10.1081/cnv-200032974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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