Back to Journals » Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management » Volume 14

Clinical observation of immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer: a real-world study in Chinese cohort

Authors Sun D, Ma J, Wang J, Zhang F, Wang L, Zhang S, Chen G, Li X, Du W, Cui P, Hu Y

Received 4 May 2018

Accepted for publication 4 July 2018

Published 11 September 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1691—1700


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Deyun Wang

Danyang Sun,* Junxun Ma,* Jinliang Wang, Fan Zhang, Lijie Wang, Sujie Zhang, Guangying Chen, Xiaoyan Li, Wushuang Du, Pengfei Cui, Yi Hu

Department of Oncology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: In recent years, immune checkpoint inhibitors have been used with great success in the treatment of various cancers. However, when used in monotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors have a poor effect on pancreatic cancer. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.
Patients and methods: We evaluated patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who were treated with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors from 2015–2017. All the patients received PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors as a monotherapy or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and CTLA-4 inhibitors at the recommended dosages.
Results: For the 43 patients enrolled, the objective response rate was 10.5%, the disease control rate was 50%, the median progression-free survival was 2.3 months, and the median overall survival (mOS) was 5.1 months. The mOS was longer for patients receiving combined therapy than for those receiving PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor monotherapy (5.4 vs 2.0 months, P = 0.020). Patients receiving immune therapy as a first-line treatment had prolonged survival compared with those receiving it as a second-line or multiple-line treatment, but the difference was not statistically significant (mOS: 7.0 vs 5.1 vs 2.8 months, P = 0.161). There was a reduction in the serum level of CA19-9 associated with the response to treatment. Adverse events were tolerable and were mainly grade 1 and 2. The immune-related adverse events that occurred were hypothyroidism, diarrhea, and rash.
Conclusion: Immune checkpoint inhibitors showed a certain efficacy in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer and could confer long-term survival benefits. Combined therapy was more effective and may serve as an alternative option. Further studies should be performed.

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, immune therapy, checkpoint inhibitor

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]