Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

BMC Cancer





PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences




Eli Lilly and Company


Wainberg, Z. A., Feeney, K., Lee, M. A., Muñoz, A., Gracián, A. C., Lonardi, S., ... & Hecht, J. R. (2020). Meta-analysis examining overall survival in patients with pancreatic cancer treated with second-line 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin-based therapy after failing first-line gemcitabine-containing therapy: Effect of performance status and comparison with other regimens. BMC Cancer, 20, Article 633.


© 2020 The Author(s).


Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis and few choices of therapy. For patients with adequate performance status, FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel are preferred first-line treatment. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-based therapy (e.g. FOLFIRI, OFF, or FOLFOX) are often used in patients who previously received gemcitabine-based regimens. A systematic review was conducted of the safety and efficacy of FOLFOX for metastatic pancreatic cancer following prior gemcitabine-based therapy. A Bayesian fixed-effect meta-analysis with adjustment of patient performance status (PS) was conducted to evaluate overall survival (OS) and compare outcomes with nanoliposomal irinotecan combination therapy.

Methods:,,, congress abstracts, library, and EMBASE database searches were conducted to identify randomized controlled trials of advanced/metastatic disease, prior gemcitabine-based therapy, and second-line treatment with 5-FU and oxaliplatin. The database search dates were January 1, 1990-June 30, 2019. Endpoints were OS and severe treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs). Trial-level PS scores were standardized by converting Karnofsky grade scores to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Grade, and overall study-weighted PS was calculated based on weighted average of all patients. Results: Of 282 studies identified, 11 randomized controlled trials (N = 454) were included in the meta-analysis. Baseline weighted PS scores predicted OS in 10 of the 11 studies, and calculated PS scores of 1.0 were associated with a median OS of 6.3 months (95% posterior interval, 5.4-7.4). After adjusting for baseline PS, FOLFOX had a similar treatment effect profile (median OS, range 2.6-6.7 months) as 5-FU/leucovorin plus nanoliposomal irinotecan therapy (median OS, 6.1 months; 95% confidence interval 4.8-8.9). Neutropenia and fatigue were the most commonly reported Grade 3-4 TRAEs associated with FOLFOX.


Baseline PS is a strong prognostic factor when interpreting the efficacy of 5-FU and oxaliplatin-based therapy of pancreatic cancer after progression on first-line gemcitabine-based regimens. When baseline PS is considered, FOLFOX has a similar treatment effect as 5-FU and nanoliposomal irinotecan therapy and a comparable safety profile. These findings suggest that 5-FU and oxaliplatin-based therapies remain an acceptable and alternative second-line treatment option for patients with pancreatic cancer and adequate PS (e.g. ECOG 0-1) following gemcitabine treatment.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.