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Tarceva Plus Gemcitabine After Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer ?

Gress and colleagues from the University of Marburg in Germany published the results of a Phase II trial in the October 2013 issue of the Annals of Oncology, the official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology. They did a prospective multi-center study of 76 pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) patients over a two-year period which offered the adjuvant regimen of gemcitabine in combination with cetuximab (Tarceva) to patients for a 24 week period post-pancreatic cancer surgery.

The authors compared the results of these pancreatic cancer study subjects to previously reported survival statistics at 18 months of a 35% disease-free survival rate for gemcitabine alone.  Their conclusion was that adding Tarceva to the gemcitabine did NOT improve either disease-free survival or overall survival of those with pancreatic cancer receiving this combination above receiving gemcitabine alone.

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Dale O’Brien, MD