Randomized, multicenter, phase II trial of gemcitabine and cisplatin with or without veliparib in patients with pancreas adenocarcinoma and a germline BRCA/ PALB2 mutation

Eileen M. O’Reilly*, Jonathan W. Lee, Mark Zalupski, Marinela Capanu, Jennifer Park, Talia Golan, Esther Tahover, Maeve A. Lowery, Joanne F. Chou, Vaibhav Sahai, Robin Brenner, Hedy L. Kindler, Kenneth H. Yu, Alice Zervoudakis, Shreya Vemuri, Zsofia K. Stadler, Richard K.G. Do, Neesha Dhani, Alice P. Chen, David P. Kelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE Five percent to 9% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) develop in patients with a germline BRCA1/2 or PALB2 (gBRCA/PALB2+) mutation. Phase IB data from a trial that used cisplatin, gemcitabine, and veliparib treatment demonstrated a high response rate (RR), disease control rate (DCR), and overall survival (OS) in this population. We designed an open-label, randomized, multicenter, two-arm phase II trial to investigate cisplatin and gemcitabine with or without veliparib in gBRCA/PALB2+ PDAC. PATIENTS AND METHODS Eligible patients had untreated gBRCA/PALB2+ PDAC with measurable stage III to IV disease and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1. Treatment for patients in arm A consisted of cisplatin 25 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 600 mg/m2 intravenously on days 3 and 10; treatment for patients in arm B was the same as that for patients in arm A, and arm A also received veliparib 80 mg orally twice per day on days 1 to 12 cycled every 3 weeks. The primary end point was RRs of arm A and arm B evaluated separately using a Simon two-stage design. Secondary end points were progression-free survival, DCR, OS, safety, and correlative analyses. RESULTS Fifty patients were evaluated by modified intention-to-treat analysis. The RR for arm A was 74.1% and 65.2% for arm B (P = .55); both arms exceeded the prespecified activity threshold. DCR was 100% for arm A and 78.3% for arm B (P = .02). Median progression-free survival was 10.1 months for arm A (95% CI, 6.7 to 11.5 months) and 9.7 months for arm B (95% CI, 4.2 to 13.6 months; P = .73). Median OS for arm A was 15.5 months (95% CI, 12.2 to 24.3 months) and 16.4 months for arm B (95% CI, 11.7 to 23.4 months; P = .6). Two-year OS rate for the entire cohort was 30.6% (95% CI, 17.8% to 44.4%), and 3-year OS rate was 17.8% (95% CI, 8.1% to 30.7%). Grade 3 to 4 hematologic toxicities for arm A versus arm B were 13 (48%) versus seven (30%) for neutropenia, 15 (55%) versus two (9%) for thrombocytopenia, and 14 (52%) versus eight (35%) for anemia. CONCLUSION Cisplatin and gemcitabine is an effective regimen in advanced gBRCA/PALB2+ PDAC. Concurrent veliparib did not improve RR. These data establish cisplatin and gemcitabine as a standard approach in gBRCA/ PALB2+ PDAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1388
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


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