A phase I study of intraperitoneal paclitaxel combined with gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel for pancreatic cancer with peritoneal metastasis

Purpose: A phase I study of intraperitoneal paclitaxel (ip PTX) combined with gemcitabine (GEM) plus nab-paclitaxel (nab-PTX) (GnP) was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the recommended dose (RD) in pancreatic cancer patients with peritoneal metastasis in first-line setting.

Methods: Based on the 3 + 3 dose-escalation model, ip PTX, GEM and nab-PTX were administered at doses of 20 or 30 mg/m2, 800 or 1000 mg/m2 and 100 or 125 mg/m2 (level 1, 2 and 3, respectively) on days 1, 8 and 15 in 4-week cycles. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) defined as severe adverse events was evaluated during the first cycle of the treatment. Safety and preliminary efficacy were also investigated.

Results: In total, 12 patients were enrolled. While 2 of the first 6 patients enrolled at level 1 experienced DLTs (grade 3 ip port dysfunction and grade 3 pneumonia), no DLT was observed in the next 6 patients enrolled at level 2 and 3. Therefore, we did not reach the MTD and the RD was determined to be level 3 (ip PTX of 30 mg/m2, GEM of 1000 mg/m2, and nab-PTX of 125 mg/m2). The major grade 3/4 adverse events included neutropenia (58%), anemia (33%), and ip port dysfunction (25%). The response rate was 25% and the median PFS was 5.4 (95% confidence interval; 2.4-16.0). The cytological status in peritoneal lavage turned negative in 8 patients (67%).

Conclusions: Ip PTX combined with GnP was feasible and potentially effective in pancreatic cancer with peritoneal metastasis as a first-line treatment deserved further evaluations.

Keywords: Gemcitabine; Intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Nab-paclitaxel; Paclitaxel; Pancreatic cancer; Peritoneal metastasis.