Background: In our previous randomised phase 2 study for patients with gemcitabine-refractory advanced pancreatic cancer, S-1 plus leucovorin improved progression-free survival compared with S-1 alone. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of TAS-118 (S-1 plus leucovorin) versus S-1 in overall survival (OS). Patients and methods: This randomised, open-label, phase 3 study was conducted at 58 centres in Japan and Korea. Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer that progressed during first-line gemcitabine-based chemotherapy or recurred during or after post-operative gemcitabine-based adjuvant treatment were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either S-1 (40–60 mg, twice daily for 4 weeks in a 6-week cycle) or TAS-118 (S-1 40–60 mg plus leucovorin 25 mg, twice daily for 1 week in a 2-week cycle). The primary end-point was OS. Results: A total of 603 patients were randomised, and 300 and 301 patients received TAS-118 and S-1, respectively. There was no difference in OS between groups (median OS for TAS-118 versus S-1, 7.6 months versus 7.9 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.98 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82–1.16]; P = 0.756). Progression-free survival was significantly longer with TAS-118 than S-1 (median, 3.9 months versus 2.8 months; HR, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.67–0.95]; P = 0.009). There were interactions between Japan and Korea (P = 0.004) and between unresectable and recurrent disease (P = 0.025) in OS. Incidence, profile and severity of adverse events were similar between groups. Conclusion: TAS-118 did not improve OS in patients with gemcitabine-refractory advanced pancreatic cancer compared to S-1. Further studies are needed to find patients who have benefit from adding leucovorin to S-1.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd (no grant number).
The authors thank all the patients, their families and the investigators who participated in the study; members of the independent data monitoring committee (Keisuke Aiba, Satoshi Morita and Yoshiharu Motoo); and medical adviser Yuh Sakata. Masahiro Takeuchi had a role in the statistical analysis plan as study statistician. Medical writing for the article was assisted by Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. , and English editing was done by SunFlare Co., Ltd., funded by Taiho. The authors retained full control of the article content.
© 2018 The Authors
- Pancreatic cancer
- Second-line chemotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research