In this study, published in the latest British Journal of Cancer, this novel drug combination was administered in a 28-day cycle to outpatients with previously untreated inoperable cancer.
Researchers treated 26 patients with gastro-esophageal cancer and 12 with pancreatic cancer.
They found that the overall response rate was 42% in patients with gastroesophageal or pancreatic cancer.
The median survival was 9.5 months in patients with gastroesophageal cancer, and 8 months in patients with pancreatic cancer.
The team also identified a statistically significant increase in survival between those patients who achieved a stable disease response, and those who achieved either a partial response or complete response.
The toxicity profiles for both cancers were virtually identical.
|42% response in gastro-esophageal and pancreatic cancer.|
|British Journal of Cancer|
During the course of the study, there were five treatment-related deaths, as well as a high admission rate (42%).
The team from St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, conclude, "Irinotecan, mitomycin and cisplatin is a new combination with activity in inoperable upper gastro-esophageal cancers, but with a high toxicity profile".
They consider that, "Future developments include reducing the dose of irinotecan and number of cycles of therapy to four".