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Hepatogastroenterology. 2011 Sep-Oct;58(110-111):1776-81. doi: 10.5754/hge10455. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Survival benefit with the combination of docetaxel, gemcitabine and erlotinib in advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic cancer patients.

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  • 1Oncology Department, University of Athens, Medical School, Greece.



Although research on new effective treatments against pancreatic cancer is intense, limited therapeutic schemes are currently approved. The aim of the present study was to record the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine-erlotinib plus docetaxel combination therapy in patients with advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic cancer.


Twenty-five chemotherapy naive patients with histologically confirmed unresectable pancreatic cancer and documented extrapancreatic metastases, received biweekly gemcitabine 1,500mg/m2 during a 28-day long cycle; daily erlotinib 100mg per os; and docetaxel 80mg/m2 as intravenous infusion administered every 15 days. Patients were monitored every 4 cycles for survival, adverse events and tumour response with Computed Tomography scans.


Patients received 153 cycles in total, with a median of 7.64 cycles (range, 1-24). The median overall survival was 10 months and 45% of the patients reached and surpassed 1-year survival. No grade IV toxicities were recorded. The only grade III recorded toxicities were thrombopenia (4 patients, 16%), anaemia (1 patient, 4%) and neutropenia (1 patient, 4%). Overall the most frequently experienced adverse events were grade I anaemia (18 patients, 72%) and grade II rash (13 patients, 52%).


Biweekly gemcitabine with erlotinib plus docetaxel administration is a practical alternative to pancreatic cancer treatment, presenting comparable results to weekly gemcitabine administration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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