Nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in advanced pancreatic cancer: The one-year experience of the National Cancer Institute of Naples

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Background: Pancreas adenocarcinoma is the sixth cause of cancer-related death worldwide with an increasing mortality in the Western countries. Recently, the association between nab-paclitaxel (nab-P) and gemcitabine (GEM) has significantly improved progression-free and overall survival. Patients and Methods: Patients affected by metastatic pancreas adenocarcinoma were treated at the Department of Abdominal Oncology of the National Cancer Institute of Naples from July 2015 to July 2016 with nab-P at 125 mg per square meter of body-surface area followed by GEM at 1, 000 mg per square meter on days 1, 8 and 15 every 4 weeks. Computed tomography (CT) was performed every three months of therapy. Toxicity was graded with National Cancer Institute- Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) v4.0. Objective responses were evaluated with Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Analysis of time-to-progression is only descriptive. Pain was evaluated with a visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: Twenty-three patients were treated. Median age was 67 years (range=45-81); 8 patients were ≥70 years old. Performance status (PS) Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) was 2 in 8 patients, 1 in 10 and 0 in 5. Twelve patients presented with diffuse hepatic metastases, 4 with carcinosis, 7 with more than one organ involvement. Nab- P was reduced at 100 mg per square meter in all patients. The most common G3/G4 adverse events were neutropenia (13.0% G4, 8.6% G3; none was febrile), neuropathy (30.4% G3) and asthenia (G3 17.3%). The disease control rate was 43.4% (partial response+stable disease (PR+SD) 10/23). The median time-to-progression was 7.9 months (95% confidence interval (CI)=5.8-11.2). After three months of therapy the PS improved in 14 patients, as well as pain in 18 patients. Conclusion: We present an experience with nab-P and GEM association in a series with poor PS and highly metastatic disease relatively to a previous randomized study. The schedule is feasible, with nab-P at 100 mg per square meter achieving a good disease control rate, as well as a clinical benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1975-1978
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical study
  • Gemcitabine
  • Nab-Paclitaxel
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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