For the Treatment of First-Line Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer, Thought-Leaders are Optimistic About the Potential Efficacy Advantages of Two Emerging Agents Over Currently Available Therapies

Improvements in Key Efficacy Endpoints, Especially Overall Survival, are Pivotal Drivers for Prescribing, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

Jul 08, 2013, 09:00 ET from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass., July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the effect on key efficacy endpoints, primarily the effect of an emerging therapy on overall survival, has the greatest influence on surveyed U.S. and European oncologists' prescribing decisions for metastatic pancreatic cancer in the first-line treatment setting. Two novel therapies, nanoparticle paclitaxel (Celgene/Taiho Pharmaceutical's Abraxane) and rigosertib (Onconova Therapeutics/Baxter International/SymBio Pharmaceuticals' Estybon), both in combination with gemcitabine (Eli Lilly's Gemzar, generics), are set to offer significant efficacy advantages over the current standard of care, gemcitabine monotherapy. Additionally, nanoparticle paclitaxel and rigosertib offer advantages in safety and tolerability over FOLFIRINOX*, which along with the poor performance status of many pancreatic cancer patients, is the major limitation to FOLFIRINOX's uptake.

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The Decision Base 2013 report entitled Pancreatic Cancer (First-Line, Metastatic): What Level of Improvement Will Emerging Therapies Need to Show to Significantly Impact the Market? finds that surveyed U.S. oncologists would prescribe nanoparticle paclitaxel/gemcitabine and rigosertib/gemcitabine to a median 35 percent and 20 percent of their first-line metastatic pancreatic cancer patients, respectively.

The report also finds that the majority of surveyed managed care organization (MCO) pharmacy directors are receptive to emerging therapies that offer improvements in median overall survival (MOS) for the treatment of this patient population. Key opinion leaders indicate that only rigosertib/gemcitabine could offer a level of MOS that, according to surveyed U.S. MCO pharmacy directors, would be necessary for inclusion on MCO formularies.

"The treatment for first-line metastatic pancreatic cancer has remained largely unchanged for the past two decades for the majority of patients," said Decision Resources Analyst Orestis Mavroudis-Chocholis, Ph.D. "Nanoparticle paclitaxel's imminent approval in this setting will provide a much-needed treatment option for patients who are not eligible to receive FOLFIRINOX. Additionally, based on limited data from an early-stage clinical trial, adding rigosertib to gemcitabine promises to offer an improvement in MOS, accompanied with little added toxicity, making this treatment suitable for a broad proportion of patients and partially addressing key unmet needs in the treatment of this disease."

*FOLFIRINOX: 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, generics), leucovorin (folinic acid, generics), irinotecan (Pfizer's Camptosar/Campto, Daiichi Sankyo's Topotecin, Yakult Honsha's Campto, generics) and oxaliplatin (Sanofi's Eloxatin/Eloxatine, Yakult Honsha's Elplat, generics).

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