Phase II clinical trials on investigational drugs for the treatment of pancreatic cancers

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Introduction: Despite some recent advances in treatment options, pancreatic cancer remains a devastating disease with poor outcomes. In a trend contrary to most malignancies, both incidence and mortality continue to rise due to pancreatic cancer. The majority of patients present with advanced disease and there are no treatment options for this stage that have demonstrated a median survival > 1 year. As the penultimate step prior to Phase III studies involving hundreds of patients, Phase II clinical trials provide an early opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of new treatments that are desperately needed for this disease. Areas covered: This review covers the results of published Phase II clinical trials in advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma published within the past 5 years. The treatment results are framed in the context of the current standards of care and the historic challenge of predicting Phase III success from Phase II trial results. Expert opinion: Promising therapies remain elusive in pancreatic cancer based on recent Phase II clinical trial results. Optimization and standardization of clinical trial design in the Phase II setting, with consistent incorporation of biomarkers, is needed to more accurately identify promising therapies that warrant Phase III evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-794
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Gemcitabine
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Phase II
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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