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Indian J Cancer. 2018 Apr-Jun;55(2):138-143. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_552_17.

Treatment practices for metastatic pancreatic cancer: Can we deliver an appropriately efficacious and safe regimen in Indian patients?

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Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



The median overall survival (mOS) in metastatic pancreatic cancers (PCs) hovers between 6 months to 11 months.


The study is a retrospective analysis of metastatic PC patients who were evaluated from August 2013 to August 2016 in the Department of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH).


Out of 218 patients, 24 patients (11%) were not planned for chemotherapy and referred to the Department of Palliative Care for further supportive care. One hundred and fifty-three patients received palliative chemotherapy in TMH with median age of 56 years (range: 23-79), male (60.1%), and nonresident in Maharashtra (60.1%). Regimens used most commonly were gemcitabine-nab-paclitaxel in 60 patients (39.2%), gemcitabine-erlotinib in 25 patients (16.3%), and modified FOLFIRINOX in 21 patients (13.7%). A total of 58 patients (43%; n = 135) had Grade 3/4 toxicities. As of cutoff date for the analysis of outcomes, 139 patients (90.8%) patients had ceased first-line chemotherapy, due to radiologically proven progressive disease (PD) in 89 patients (64%), repeated Grades 3 and 4 adverse events in 26 patients (18.7%), and clinically PD in 18 patients (12.9%). With a median follow-up of 278 days, the mOS was 217 days (95% confidence interval [CI]: 175-258), and the median event-free survival was 125 days (95% CI: 107-122).


Dose modifications for chemotherapy are required commonly when treating metastatic PC, with common reasons for dose reduction being toxicities, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status >=2, and low albumin levels. Studies evaluating logistic and financial aspects of treating metastatic PC with chemotherapy in India are warranted.


Chemotherapy; Indian patients; dose modification; metastatic pancreas

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