Real-world comparative effectiveness of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus FOLFIRINOX in advanced pancreatic cancer: a systematic review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology






FOLFIRINOX; nab-paclitaxel; pancreatic cancer; real-world evidence


© The Author(s), 2019. Background: No clinical trial has directly compared nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine (nab-P/G) with FOLFIRINOX (fluorouracil/leucovorin/oxaliplatin/irinotecan) in metastatic or advanced pancreatic cancer (mPC or aPC). We conducted a systematic review of real-world studies comparing these regimens in the first-line setting. Methods: Embase and MEDLINE databases through 22 January 2019, and Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium 2019 abstracts were searched for real-world, retrospective studies comparing first-line nab-P/G versus FOLFIRINOX in mPC or aPC that met specific parameters. Studies with radiotherapy were excluded. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Results: Of 818 records initially identified, 35 were duplicates and 749 did not meet the eligibility criteria, mostly because they were either not comparative (n = 356) or not first line (n = 245). The remaining 34 studies (21 mPC; 13 aPC) assessed >6915 patients who received nab-P/G or FOLFIRINOX. In the studies identified, the median overall survival (OS) reached 14.4 and 15.9 months with nab-P/G and FOLFIRINOX, respectively, and median progression-free survival reached 8.5 and 11.7 months, respectively. Safety data were reported in 14 studies (2205 patients), including 8 single-institutional studies. In most single-institutional studies that reported safety data, rates were higher with FOLFIRINOX versus nab-P/G for grade 3/4 neutropenia (five of six studies) and febrile neutropenia (all three studies), while rates of grade 3/4 peripheral neuropathy were higher with nab-P/G in four of seven studies. Conclusions: Although FOLFIRINOX was associated with slightly longer median OS in more studies, the differences, when available, were not statistically significant. Therefore, a randomized, controlled trial is warranted. Toxicity profile differences represent key considerations for treatment decisions.