There is recent evidence that combination therapy of an EGFR and MEK inhibitors may have enhanced efficacy in patients with pancreatic cancer. Recent research confirms that the MEK pathway acts as a central axis in the proliferation of different tumors including melanoma, non-small cell lung, head/neck and pancreatic cancers. MEK inhibition, either alone or in combination with other agents, is an important therapeutic strategy in treating cancer. Tarceva is an EGFR inhibitor in wide use and FDA approved with gemcitabine for pancreatic cancer. A trial that is testing this hypotheis is: AZD6244 and Erlotinib Hydrochloride in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer That Is Refractory to Gemcitabine Hydrochloride, NCT01222689
This phase II trial is studying how well giving AZD6244 and erlotinib hydrochloride together works in treating patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer that is refractory to gemcitabine hydrochloride.
The approach is promising but remains experimental at this time.
61 year-old woman with unresectable pancreatic cacner who ahd been on gemcitabien and capecitabine and progressed. Now proposed is
Caroline H Diep et al, Synergistic effect between erlotinib and MEK inhibitors in KRAS wildtype human pancreatic cancer cells, Clinical Cancer Research, http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/05/1078-0432.CCR-10-2214
Shivanni Kummar, Helen X. Chen, John Wright, Susan Holbeck, Myrtle Davis Millin, Joseph Tomaszewski, James Zweibel, Jerry Collins & James H. Doroshow Utilizing targeted cancer therapeutic agents in combination: novel approaches and urgent requirements, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 9, 843-856 (November 2010)