Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating solid tumor malignancies. Majority of patients have metastatic disease upon diagnosis. Five-year survival is less than 5% for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined. Gemcitabine has been the standard palliative therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer over the past decade. Many studies attempted to develop combination regimens, but they failed to improve overall survival in the metastatic settings. The combination of gemcitabine and erlotinib was the first combination regimen to show improvements in survival benefit compared with gemcitabine alone and became the first-line combination therapy in advanced pancreatic cancer. The search for better treatment strategies to prolong survival in this deadly disease is very much needed and is a worldwide effort. There were many studies presented at the 2010 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting focused on first-line therapy in metastatic pancreatic cancer. This article highlights a few phase III and II studies that have demonstrated encouraging results.
Jia Li, Muhammad Wasif Saif, Man Yee Merl, Osama Abdelghany