Andrew H. Ko, MD | Authors

Expanding Options for Pancreatic Cancer...So Where Do We Go From Here?

January 15, 2014

In light of two recent positive clinical trials for advanced pancreatic cancer, we are currently facing an interesting situation that those of us who treat this disease have not had to deal with previously: what to do with this expanding array of choices?

A Daunting Task: How to Treat Gemcitabine-Refractory Pancreatic Cancer?

September 01, 2008

Gemcitabine (Gemzar)-based regimens have been the mainstay of front-line treatment for patients who present with advanced pancreatic cancer over the past decade, but most medical oncologists throw their hands up in frustration when considering what therapeutic options a patient is left with once he or she has progressed beyond first-line therapy. This is not without reason-as nicely summarized in the review article by Almhanna and Kim, studies in the published medical literature focusing on treatment of pancreatic cancer in the salvage setting have generally been small and have shown very modest clinical efficacy, characterized by low response rates and progression-free survival of a few months at best.

Erlotinib in Pancreatic Cancer: A Major Breakthrough?

December 01, 2007

Erlotinib (Tarceva) is a human epidermal growth factor receptor type 1/epidermal growth factor receptor (HER1/EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. In this report, we present the pivotal study that led to the approval of erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine (Gemzar) in patients with locally advanced/metastatic chemonaive pancreatic cancer patients. The combination demonstrated a statistically significant increase in overall survival accompanied by an increase in toxicity. Physicians and patients now have a new option for the treatment of locally advanced/metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.