Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal solid tumors. In many European countries gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel is the preferred first-line treatment. An increasing number of patients are eligible for second-line therapy, but the best regimen is still controversial. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oxaliplatin-based compared to irinotecan-based therapies in this setting. 181 advanced pancreatic cancer patients consecutively treated in three centers with a second-line therapy progressed on gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel were retrospectively enrolled. OS and PFS were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and survival of the two groups was compared using the log-rank test. The median PFS and OS were respectively 3.5 (95%CI 3.2-3.8) and 8.8 months (95%CI 7.9-9.8) from second-line therapy in the overall population. The median PFS and OS were respectively 3.3 (95%CI 3.1-3.5) and 8.2 months (95%CI 7.24-9.34) with an irinotecan-based combination compared to 4.0 (95%CI 2.4-5.7) and 10.3 months (95%CI 8.62-12.02) in patients receiving an oxaliplatin-based combination. We observed a clear trend for longer survival outcomes with platinum-based doublet compared to regimens including irinotecan or nal-IRI. Head-to-head trials are still lacking. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and the presence of liver metastases could drive physicians in tailoring the treatment strategy.
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