The cisplatin, epirubicin, 5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine (PEFG) regimen in advanced biliary tract adenocarcinoma

Stefano Cereda, Paolo Passoni, Michele Reni, Maria G. Viganò, Luca Aldrighetti, Roberto Nicoletti, Eugenio Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Biliary tract adenocarcinoma (BTA) is an uncommon tumor with a poor prognosis and no standard, systemic chemotherapy. The combined cisplatin, epirubicin, 5-fluorouracil, and gemcitabine (PEFG) regimen is an effective, upfront treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. In this study, the authors assessed the activity and safety of this combination regimen in patients with advanced BTA. METHODS: PEFG (cisplatin 40 mg/m 2 and epirubicin 40 mg/m 2 on Day 1; gemcitabine 600 mg/m 2 on Days 1 and 8; and 5-fluorouracil [FU] 200 mg/m 2 daily as a continuous infusion) was administered to chemotherapy-naive patients who had a cytologic or histologic diagnosis of locally advanced or metastatic BTA, aged 60 either until they had evidence progressive disease or for a maximum of 6 months. Tumor size was assessed every 2 months during treatment. RESULTS: Between May 1999 and December 2005, 37 patients (62% metastatic) who had a median age of 62 years and a median PS of 90 received the PEFG regimen at the authors' institution. Primary tumor sites were the intrahepatic bile duct in 10 patients (27%), the extrahepatic bile duct in 8 patients (22%), the gallbladder in 12 patients (32%), and the ampulla of Vater in 7 patients (19%). A partial response was observed in 16 patients (43%), and stable disease was observed in 12 patients (32%). The median overall survival (OS) was 12.1 months, and the 1-year OS rate was 52%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.9 months, and the 6-month PFS rate was 67%. The main grade 3/4 toxicity was neutropenia in 18% of cycles followed by thrombocytopenia in 9% of cycles, nausea/vomiting in 5% of cycles, and febrile neutropenia, fatigue, anemia, and stomatitis in 2% of cycles. CONCLUSIONS: The current results demonstrated that PEFG was an active regimen with a manageable toxicity profile for patients with advanced BTA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2208-2214
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Epirubicin
  • Gemcitabine
  • PEFG regimen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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