Tarceva alone for pancreatic cancer – pro

Erlotinib is an orally administered quinazoline derivative that targets and inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase enzyme, thereby disrupting signalling pathways that encourage cell growth and inhibit apoptosis. There is evidence of in-vitro and cell tissue studies but no human studies that I could discover of this drug effective alone against pancreatic cancer. Studies have been in combination with other drugs and in fact, it may not be effective alone. There have been no phase II or III studies of erlotinib alone but some evidence for effectiveness comes from phase I studies, which are, however, limited. NCCN does not recommend Tarceva alone in any line.

There is a phase II study ongoing: Phase II Trial of Erlotinib in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, NCT00497224. This is an open-label, multi-center phase II study of erlotinib in patients with metastatic or locally advanced, unresectable pancreatic cancer who have received up to one line of gemcitabine based chemotherapy.

Laurent-Puig P, Taieb J. Lessons from Tarceva in pancreatic cancer: where are we now, and how should future trials be designed in pancreatic cancer?Curr Opin Oncol. 2008 Jul;20(4):454-8.

Dene Simpson, Lesley J Scott, Stuart Noble, Erlotinib: In Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
American Journal of Cancer, Vol. 5, No. 1. (2006), pp. 35-40.

Joshua W. Long, Donald J. Buchsbaum, Jeffery Sellers, Zhi Huang, Selwyn M. Vickers Erlotinib Reduces Flip Mediated Resistance to TRA-8 Agonistic TRAIL-R2 Antibody in Pancreatic Cancer Cellsa nd Journal of Surgical Research, Volume 144, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 387

Paolo Baldo, Elisa Giacomin, Sara Cecco, Roberto D’Amico, Renato Cannizzaro, Sara Balduzzi. Erlotinib for advanced pancreatic cancer [Cochrane Protocol]. PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015022143 Available from http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42015022143


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