Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

ABRAXANE® Plus Gemcitabine Improves Survival in Phase III Study of Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine demonstrated highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful results across primary and key secondary endpoints and patient subgroups

MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Australia announces that a phase III clinical trial of world leading breast cancer drug ABRAXANE® (nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel) in combination with current standard of care gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer has demonstrated substantially improved survival times, with double the number of patients surviving two years.1

The MPACT (Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial) investigation involved 861 treatment naïve patients internationally.

Researchers found those patients treated with ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine had a statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared to patients receiving gemcitabine alone [(median of 8.5 vs. 6.7 months) (HR 0.72, P=0.000015)].1

Moreover, ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine demonstrated a 59% increase in one-year survival (35% vs. 22%, p=0.0002) and demonstrated double the rate of survival at two years (9% vs. 4%, p=0.02) as compared to gemcitabine alone.1

ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine also demonstrated statistically significant improvements in key secondary endpoints compared to gemcitabine alone, including a 31% reduction in the risk of progression or death with a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 5.5 vs. 3.7 months (HR 0.69, P=0.000024) and an overall response rate (ORR) of 23% compared to 7% (response rate ratio of 3.19, p=1.1 x 10-10).  Another endpoint assessed included time to treatment failure, which was significantly improved with the ABRAXANE combination compared to gemcitabine alone [(median 5.1 vs. 3.6 months) (HR 0.70, P<0.0001)].1

"The past few decades have brought us very few treatment advances for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, which is both deadly and incredibly difficult to treat with success," said Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P., Lead Principal Investigator of the MPACT study and Chief Scientific Officer for Scottsdale Healthcare's Virginia G. Piper Cancer Centre Clinical Trials and Physician-In-Chief for TGen.  "The fact that ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine demonstrated an overall survival benefit, and also did so at one and two years, is a significant step forward in offering potential new hope for our patients."

Professor John Zalcberg, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Cancer Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, said the evidence strongly supported using ABRAXANE in combination with gemcitabine as a new standard of care to treat appropriate patients, many of whom were not diagnosed until the disease was metastatic.

While acknowledging that this advance could not be seen as a cure for pancreatic cancer, Professor Zalcberg said the 59% increase in the number of patients who lived beyond 12 months was very encouraging. 

"We are extremely encouraged by the results of this study involving ABRAXANE and regard this outcome as a significant breakthrough in terms of the future management of this disease," he said.

"In addition to treating women with metastatic breast cancer with ABRAXANE in the appropriate setting, we look forward to its approval in Australia for treating patients with advanced pancreatic cancer."

Specialised Therapeutics Australia (STA) Chief Executive Officer Mr. Carlo Montagner said the positive data paved the way for Australian patients with advanced pancreatic cancer to access more effective treatment options.

He commented: "In Australia, pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer for both men and women2 and very few treatment options exist for this group of patients. We are extremely pleased to demonstrate that ABRAXANE is capable of prolonging survival for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and we hope to have ABRAXANE approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in the latter half of 2014."

The most common grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events in the study for ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine vs. gemcitabine alone were neutropenia (38% vs. 27%), fatigue (17% vs. 7%), and neuropathy (17% vs. 1%).  In the ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine arm, the median time to neuropathy improvement was 29 days. There was no difference in serious life threatening toxicity (4% in each arm).1

Further details of the study will be highlighted in a late-breaking oral presentation by Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff:

  • Abstract: LBA #148: Final results of a randomized phase III study of weekly nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Friday, January 25th between 2:00 to 3:30 pm PST at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, CA.

These results are from an investigational study. ABRAXANE is not approved for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.  Following TGA review and approval, STA will seek to have ABRAXANE included on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the reimbursement of ABRAXANE for advanced pancreatic cancer.

About the MPACT Study1

In the MPACT (Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial) study, a Celgene-sponsored, open-label, randomised, international study of 861 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer were randomised to receive either ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine (125 mg/m2 followed by 1000 mg/m2 gemcitabine for 3 weeks followed by a week of rest) or gemcitabine alone (1000 mg/m2 administered weekly for 7 weeks followed by a week of rest followed by cycles of weekly administration for 3 weeks followed by one week of rest). 

The primary endpoint for the study is improvement in overall survival. Secondary endpoints were progression-free survival, and overall response rate determined by independent radiological review. Other endpoints included progression-free survival, overall response rate determined by investigator and the safety and tolerability of this combination in this patient population.

About Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Advanced pancreatic cancer is a difficult-to-treat cancer with the lowest survival rates among all cancer types.  Across all patients with pancreatic cancer, relative 5-year survival is 6% and is less than 2% for those with advanced disease.  There are two main types of pancreatic cancer - adenocarcinomas, which accounts for approximately 90% of all pancreatic cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors.  Pancreatic cancer is relatively uncommon with new cases accounting for only 2.1% of all newly diagnosed cancers. However, pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States and Australia, and the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.2 


ABRAXANE is a solvent-free, nanoparticle chemotherapy treatment option for metastatic breast cancer.3 In Australia, ABRAXANE is currently listed on the PBS for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and HER2 positive breast cancer in combination with trastuzumab.

ABRAXANE is approved for metastatic breast cancer in over 40 countries including the U.S., Canada, European Union, Japan and China, and more than 500,000 cancer patients have received ABRAXANE therapy in the past five years.

In Australia, ABRAXANE has been granted orphan drug designation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Orphan drug status is granted to drugs used to treat relatively rare diseases such as pancreatic cancer and may allow for priority evaluation by the TGA.

ABRAXANE is currently in various stages of investigation for the treatment of the following cancers: metastatic melanoma, bladder, ovarian, and expanded applications for breast cancer.

Developed using the proprietary nab™ technology platform, ABRAXANE is a nanoparticle protein-bound chemotherapy agent. ABRAXANE combines paclitaxel with albumin, a naturally-occurring human protein, to deliver the drug and eliminates the need for solvents in the administration process. Nanoparticle technology allows ABRAXANE to deliver a 49% higher dose compared to regular solvent-based paclitaxel without compromising safety and tolerability.3-4

In a randomised phase III study of metastatic breast cancer patients, ABRAXANE demonstrated nearly double the overall tumour response rate compared to solvent-based paclitaxel. 3-4

Anthracycline pre-treated patients in the study lived significantly longer.5 The tolerability with ABRAXANE and solvent-based paclitaxel was comparable, despite the 49% greater dose of paclitaxel administered as ABRAXANE.3-4 Neutropenia was lower with ABRAXANE compared to solvent-based paclitaxel, although there was an increase in incidence of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy with ABRAXANE. However the median time to improvement, from grade 3 peripheral neuropathy to grade 2 or lower, was 22 days.  No adverse events were reported that were not already known for paclitaxel.3-4

Contraindications and side effects3:

Like all medications, ABRAXANE may cause side effects.

ABRAXANE should not be used in patients who have baseline neutrophil counts of <1.5 x 109 /L.
In patients who have exhibited hypersensitivity reactions to paclitaxel or albumin, patients should not be treated with ABRAXANE.

ABRAXANE is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation.

Most common side effects (≥1/10) caused by ABRAXANE include; neutropenia, anemia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, lymphophenia, anorexia, peripheral neuropathy, hypoaesthesia, paraethesia, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, stomatitis, alopecia, rash, arthralgia, myalgia, fatigue, asthenia, pyrexia.

For further information regarding ABRAXANE and potential side effects, physicians should review the ABRAXANE Product Information and patients should consult their oncologist or the ABRAXANE Consumer Medicine Information available on

ABRAXANE® is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation.

ABRAXANE® is distributed by STA under license from Celgene Corporation in Australia and New Zealand.

About Specialised Therapeutics Australia Pty Ltd

Specialised Therapeutics Australia Pty Ltd (STA) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to working with leading pharmaceutical companies worldwide to provide acute care therapies for high unmet medical needs to people living in Australia and New Zealand.

Currently STA markets two world leading cancer and cancer supportive care therapies, ABRAXANE® (nab-paclitaxel) and ALOXI® (palonosetron HCl) respectively, and has recently licensed two new agents from the Helsinn Group. Firstly Anamorelin, which is a novel ghrelin receptor agonist for the treatment of anorexia-cachexia in NSCLC, and a fixed-dose combination product (in both oral and intravenous forms) containing netupitant, a neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist, combined with Aloxi, a serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist. STA also has interests in the therapeutic areas of anti-infectives with the rights to commercialise DIFICID® (fidaxomicin) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections, respiratory, dermatology, endocrinology and central nervous system (CNS). Additional information can be found at


  1. Von Hoff DD et al. Abstract: LBA #148: Final results of a randomized phase III study of weekly nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. ASCO GI 2013
  2. Cancer in Australia. An Overview 2012. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  3. Abraxane Product Information
  4. Gradishar WJ et al. J Clinical Oncology 2005;23:7794-7803
  5. Vukelja SJ et al. ASCO 2008, Abstract 1082

Media Inquiries:

Emma Power
Monsoon Communications
Level 12 15 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61-3-9620-3333

SOURCE Specialised Therapeutics Australia Pty Ltd

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...