BACKGROUND: Sorafenib is an oral anticancer agent targeting Ras-dependent signaling and angiogenic pathways. A phase I trial demonstrated that the combination of gemcitabine and sorafenib was well tolerated and had activity in advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) patients. The BAYPAN study was a multicentric, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized phase III trial comparing gemcitabine/sorafenib and gemcitabine/placebo in the treatment of APC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The patient eligibility criteria were locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, no prior therapy for advanced disease and a performance status of zero to two. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). The patients received gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) i.v., weekly seven times followed by 1 rest week, then weekly three times every 4 weeks plus sorafenib 200 mg or placebo, two tablets p.o., twice daily continuously. RESULTS: Between December 2006 and September 2009, 104 patients were enrolled on the study (52 pts in each arm) and 102 patients were treated. The median and the 6-month PFS were 5.7 months and 48% for gemcitabine/placebo and 3.8 months and 33% for gemcitabine/sorafenib (P = 0.902, stratified log-rank test), respectively. The median overall survivals were 9.2 and 8 months, respectively (P = 0.231, log-rank test). The overall response rates were similar (19 and 23%, respectively). CONCLUSION: The addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine does not improve PFS in APC patients.
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