Posted by : Pr. Franck BONNETAIN

Journal name : JAMA

IMPORTANCE In locally advanced pancreatic cancer, the role of chemoradiotherapy is controversial and the efficacy of erlotinib is unknown. 

OBJECTIVES To assess whether chemoradiotherapy improves overall survival of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer controlled after 4 months of gemcitabine-based induction chemotherapy and to assess the effect of erlotinib on survival. 

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS In LAP07,an international, open-label, phase 3 randomized trial, 449 patients were enrolled between 2008 and 2011. Follow-up ended in February 2013. 

INTERVENTIONS In the first randomization, 223 patients received 1000mg/m2 weekly of gemcitabine alone and 219 patients received 1000 mg/m2 of gemcitabine plus 100 mg/d of erlotinib. In the second randomization involving patients with progression-free disease after 4 months, 136 patients received 2 months of the same chemotherapy and 133 underwent chemoradiotherapy (54 Gy plus capecitabine). 

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was overall survival from the date of the first randomization. Secondary outcomes were the effect of erlotinib and quality assurance of radiotherapy on overall survival, progression-free survival of gemcitabine-erlotinib and erlotinib maintenance with gemcitabine alone at the second randomization, and toxic effects. 

RESULTS A total of 442 of the 449 patients (232 men; median age,63.3years) enrolled underwent the first randomization. Of these, 269 underwent the second randomization. Interim analysis was performed when 221 patients died (109 in the chemoradiotherapy group and 112 in the chemotherapy group), reaching the early stopping boundaries for futility. With a median follow-up of 36.7 months, the median overall survival from the date of the first randomization was not significantly different between chemotherapy at 16.5 months (95% CI, 14.5-18.5 months) and chemoradiotherapy at 15.2 months (95% CI, 13.9-17.3 months; hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; 95% CI, 0.79-1.34; P = .83). Median overall survival from the date of the first randomization for the 223 patients receiving gemcitabine was 13.6 months (95% CI, 12.3-15.3 months) and was 11.9 months (95% CI, 10.4-13.5 months) for the 219 patients receiving gemcitabine plus erlotinib (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.97-1.45; P = .09; 188 deaths vs 191 deaths). Chemoradiotherapy was associated with decreased local progression (32% vs 46%, P = .03) and no increase in grade 3 to 4 toxicity, except for nausea. 

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this open-label,randomized trial involving patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer with disease controlled after 4 months of induction chemotherapy, there was no significant difference in overall survival with chemoradiotherapy compared with chemotherapy alone and there was no significant difference in overall survival with gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine plus erlotinib used as maintenance therapy. 

TRIALREGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier:NCT00634725 

JAMA. 2016;315(17):1844-1853. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4324 

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