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Onkologie 28. Jänner 2010

Pancreatic cancer – ASCO 2009

The publication of practice changing clinical data is a rare event in the field of pancreatic cancer. In line with this general statement, oncologists attending or following the ASCO Annual Meeting 2009 were not surprised by being confronted with the study results mainly confirming the already existing evidence. The following conference report will therefore in its first part cover the results of the most important clinical phase III-trials presented. The ESPAC 3(v2)-study established 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) as an equally effective but more toxic alternative to gemcitabine in the adjuvant treatment of patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Concerning the palliative treatment of advanced disease the Italian GIP-1-study provided us with another set of data comparing gemcitabine with a gemcitabine/platinum-duplet, once again failing to document a survival benefit. The CONKO-004-study investigated the prophylactic application of a low-molecular-weight heparin (enoxaparin) in patients treated with chemotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer. As one would expect, the rate of symptomatic venous thromboembolic events with this intervention was reduced. Whether this will translate into a survival benefit remains to be established, as the final analysis of this trial is still pending. Due to the paucity of presentations with further immediate practical relevance the second part of this short review will touch on two exciting abstracts dealing with the search for new therapeutic concepts, drugs and targets.

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