ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a deadly disease with half of patients diagnosed in the metastatic setting. Until recently, patients after progression on front-line gemcitabine-based regimen had no standard second-line option, although flouropyrimidine-based regimens were frequently used in this setting. Encapsulation of chemotherapeutics in liposomal formulation is an effective way of prolonging drug deposition thereby enhancing cytotoxic efficacy. In a large phase III randomized trial on metastatic PDAC patients who progressed after gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, a novel nanoliposome-encapsulated irinotecan (PEP02, MM-398, nal-IRI, Onivyde, Merrimack, Boston, US) plus fluorouracil and folinic acid demonstrated a significant survival advantage compared to fluorouracil and folinic acid alone. This pivotal study led to the recent FDA approval of nanoliposomal irinotecan in patients with metastatic PDAC. In this article, we will review the literature regarding existing treatment options for metastatic PDAC, focusing specifically on nanoliposomal irinotecan in the clinical setting and its future implication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-492
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • Nanoliposomal irinotecan
  • clinical trials
  • gemcitabine-refractory
  • metastatic pancreatic cancer
  • second-line chemotherapy


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