Evaluation of Phase II Trial Design in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Monica Tang, Julia Chen, David Goldstein, Matthew Links, Sarah Lord, Ian Marschner, Robert J. Simes, Chee K. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)



We evaluated how well phase II trials in locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer (LAMPC) meet current recommendations for trial design. 


We conducted a systematic review of phase II first-line treatment trial for LAMPC. We assessed baseline characteristics, type of comparison, and primary end point to examine adherence to the National Cancer Institute recommendations for trial design.


We identified 148 studies (180 treatment arms, 7505 participants). Forty-seven (32%) studies adhered to none of the 5 evaluated National Cancer Institute recommendations, 62 (42%) followed 1, 31 (21%) followed 2, and 8 (5%) followed 3 recommendations. Studies varied with respect to the proportion of patients with good performance status (range, 0%-80%) and locally advanced disease (range, 14%-100%). Eighty-two (55%) studies concluded that investigational agents should progress to phase III testing; of these, 24 (16%) had documented phase III trials. Three (8%) phase III trials demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements for investigational agents. One of 38 phase II trials that investigated biological investigational agents was enriched for a biomarker. 


Phase II trials do not conform well to current recommendations for trial design in LAMPC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1284
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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