Randomized phase III trial of induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy alone for nonresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer: First results of the CONKO-007 trial
Background: Chemotherapy (CT) is the standard of care in nonresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The CONKO-007 trial studied the role of sequential CT and chemoradiotherapy (CRT).
Methods: In this randomized multicenter phase III trial resectability was judged by an independent surgical board. Patients (pts) received induction chemotherapy (IC) for 3 months (3 cycles gemcitabine (Gem, 1000 mg/m² d1, 8, 15, q4w) or FOLFIRINOX (6 cycles, q2w)). After IC pts without progression were randomized to either continuing CT for another 3 months or receiving CRT (cumulative dose of 50.4Gy, single dose 1.8Gy + Gem 300 mg/m² weekly, followed by 1 cycle of Gem 1000 mg/m² at d1, 8, 15). The primary endpoint of the study was overall survival (OS) since the begin of IC. Determination of sample size calculated 590 pts to be randomized. Due to the exclusion of pts with progressive disease after IC a total of 830 pts should be enrolled. Due to delayed patient accrual the primary endpoint was changed to R0 resection rate resulting in an estimated sample size of 525 pts.
Results: Between 04/2013 and 02/2021 a total of 525 pts were enrolled in 47 sites. 402 pts received IC with FOLFIRINOX and 93 pts with Gem. After IC 190 pts were excluded due to progression or toxicity, 335 were randomized, their median FU was 16 months. Hematological toxicities were significantly increased in the CRT arm, non-hematological toxicities were comparable. R0 CRM- resection rate and pCR rate was significantly higher in the CRT arm. R1-resections occurred significantly more often in the CT arm. Median progression-free survival (PFS) (HR 0.919, 95% CI 0.702-1.203, p=0.540) and OS (HR 0.964, 95% CI 0.760-1.225, p=0.766) did not differ significantly in both arms, whereas the PFS rate tended to be higher in the CRT arm after 2 years. OS rates for CRM- R0 surgery with 87.5. ± 0.05% (1y) and 67.2 ± 0.05% (2y) were significantly higher (p<0.01) than for CRM+ R0 surgery with 66.7 ± 0.15% (1y) and 41.2 ± 0.1% (2y) as well as for patients without or incomplete surgery with 68.5 ± 0.03% (1y) and 26.4 ± 0.03% (2y).
Conclusions: The addition of radiotherapy after IC improves the R0 CRM – resection and pCR rate without significant change in R0 resection rate (primary endpoint). Pts with R0 CRM – resections had a better prognosis compared to patients with either R0 CRM+ or incomplete or without surgery. However, this effect on resectability did not translate into a statistically significant PFS or OS benefit in the whole cohort.
Research Sponsor:Deutsche Krebshilfe