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Invest New Drugs. 2010 Jun;28(3):343-9. doi: 10.1007/s10637-009-9265-1. Epub 2009 May 15.

Pilot study of irinotecan/oxalipltin (IROX) combination chemotherapy for patients with gemcitabine- and 5-fluorouracil- refractory pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.



Gemcitabine- and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)- based chemotherapy is a commonly used adjuvant or palliative treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer. However, a standard chemotherapy regimen has yet to be developed for patients refractory to gemcitabine and 5-FU treatment. We attempted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a combination of irinotecan and oxaliplatin (IROX) as a salvage treatment for patients with gemcitabine- and 5-FU- refractory pancreatic cancer.


Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who were refractory to prior gemcitabine- and 5-FU- based chemotherapy were enrolled in this study. IROX chemotherapy was administered as follows: Irinotecan, 150 mg/m(2) on day 1; and oxaliplatin, 85 mg/m(2) on day 1 over 90 min every 2 weeks.


From Mar. 2006 to Dec. 2008, a total of 14 patients were administered 50 cycles of chemotherapy. The male-to-female ratio of the patient group was 11:3. These patients ranged in age from 48 to 73 years (median 65.5 years old). 3 patients (21.4%) evidenced partial responses. four patients (28.6%) exhibited stable disease. The median time to progression and overall survival time were 1.4 (95% CI: 1.2-1.6) months and 4.1 (95% CI: 2.0-6.2) months, respectively. Major hematologic toxicities included grade 1-2 anemia (88%), neutropenia (36%), thrombocytopenia (30%), and grade 3-4 neutropenia (10%). The most frequently detected non-hematological toxicities were grade 3 diarrheas (14%).


The IROX regimen appears to constitute a feasible and tolerable salvage therapy in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who have been previously treated with gemcitabine- and 5-FU-based chemotherapy.

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