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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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20 X users
6 patents


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Chemotherapy and radiotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011044.pub2
Pubmed ID

Venessa Chin, Adnan Nagrial, Katrin Sjoquist, Chelsie A O'Connor, Lorraine Chantrill, Andrew V Biankin, Rob JPM Scholten, Desmond Yip


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a highly lethal disease with few effective treatment options. Over the past few decades, many anti-cancer therapies have been tested in the locally advanced and metastatic setting, with mixed results. This review attempts to synthesise all the randomised data available to help better inform patient and clinician decision-making when dealing with this difficult disease. To assess the effect of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both for first-line treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. Our primary outcome was overall survival, while secondary outcomes include progression-free survival, grade 3/4 adverse events, therapy response and quality of life. We searched for published and unpublished studies in CENTRAL (searched 14 June 2017), Embase (1980 to 14 June 2017), MEDLINE (1946 to 14 June 2017) and CANCERLIT (1999 to 2002) databases. We also handsearched all relevant conference abstracts published up until 14 June 2017. All randomised studies assessing overall survival outcomes in patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, alone or in combination, were the eligible treatments. Two review authors independently analysed studies, and a third settled any disputes. We extracted data on overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), response rates, adverse events (AEs) and quality of life (QoL), and we assessed risk of bias for each study. We included 42 studies addressing chemotherapy in 9463 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. We did not identify any eligible studies on radiotherapy.We did not find any benefit for chemotherapy over best supportive care. However, two identified studies did not have sufficient data to be included in the analysis, and many of the chemotherapy regimens studied were outdated.Compared to gemcitabine alone, participants receiving 5FU had worse OS (HR 1.69, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.27, moderate-quality evidence), PFS (HR 1.47, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.92) and QoL. On the other hand, two studies showed FOLFIRINOX was better than gemcitabine for OS (HR 0.51 95% CI 0.43 to 0.60, moderate-quality evidence), PFS (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.57) and response rates (RR 3.38, 95% CI 2.01 to 5.65), but it increased the rate of side effects. The studies evaluating CO-101, ZD9331 and exatecan did not show benefit or harm when compared with gemcitabine alone.Giving gemcitabine at a fixed dose rate improved OS (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.94, high-quality evidence) but increased the rate of side effects when compared with bolus dosing.When comparing gemcitabine combinations to gemcitabine alone, gemcitabine plus platinum improved PFS (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.95) and response rates (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.98) but not OS (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.08, low-quality evidence). The rate of side effects increased. Gemcitabine plus fluoropyrimidine improved OS (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.95), PFS (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.87) and response rates (RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.47, high-quality evidence), but it also increased side effects. Gemcitabine plus topoisomerase inhibitor did not improve survival outcomes but did increase toxicity. One study demonstrated that gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel improved OS (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.84, high-quality evidence), PFS (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.82) and response rates (RR 3.29, 95% CI 2.24 to 4.84) but increased side effects. Gemcitabine-containing multi-drug combinations (GEMOXEL or cisplatin/epirubicin/5FU/gemcitabine) improved OS (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.79, low-quality evidence), PFS (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.62) and QOL.We did not find any survival advantages when comparing 5FU combinations to 5FU alone. Combination chemotherapy has recently overtaken the long-standing gemcitabine as the standard of care. FOLFIRINOX and gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel are highly efficacious, but our analysis shows that other combination regimens also offer a benefit. Selection of the most appropriate chemotherapy for individual patients still remains difficult, with clinicopathological stratification remaining elusive. Biomarker development is essential to help rationalise treatment selection for patients.

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 317 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 317 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 38 12%
Student > Master 37 12%
Researcher 27 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 25 8%
Other 22 7%
Other 44 14%
Unknown 124 39%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 91 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 24 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 18 6%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 13 4%
Social Sciences 6 2%
Other 36 11%
Unknown 129 41%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 December 2023.
All research outputs
of 25,806,763 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,140 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 349,276 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 202 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,806,763 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,140 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 62% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 349,276 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 202 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.