NAPOLI-1 phase 3 study of liposomal irinotecan in metastatic pancreatic cancer: Final overall survival analysis and characteristics of long-term survivors

Andrea Wang-Gillam, Richard A. Hubner, Jens T. Siveke, Daniel D. Von Hoff, Bruce Belanger, Floris A. de Jong, Beloo Mirakhur, Li Tzong Chen

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174 Scopus citations


Background: Liposomal irinotecan (nal-IRI) plus 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin (5-FU/LV) is approved for patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (mPDAC) previously treated with gemcitabine-based therapy. This approval was based on significantly improved median overall survival compared with 5-FU/LV alone (6.1 vs 4.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.67) in the global phase 3 NAPOLI-1 trial. Here, we report the final survival analysis and baseline characteristics associated with long-term survivors (survival of ≥1 year) in the NAPOLI-1 trial. Patients and methods: Patients with mPDAC were randomised to receive nal-IRI + 5-FU/LV (n = 117), nal-IRI (n = 151), or 5-FU/LV (n = 149) for the first 4 weeks of 6-week cycles. Baseline characteristics and efficacy in the overall population were compared with those in patients who survived ≥1 year. Through 16th November 2015, 382 overall survival events had occurred. Results: The overall survival advantage for nal-IRI+5-FU/LV vs 5-FU/LV was maintained from the original nanoliposomal irinotecan with fluorouracil and folinic acid in metastatic pancreatic cancer after previous gemcitabine-based therapy (NAPOLI-1) analysis (6.2 vs 4.2 months, respectively; HR, 0.75; 95% confidence interval: 0.57–0.99). Median progression-free survival, objective response rate and disease control rate also favoured nal-IRI+5-FU/LV therapy. Estimated one-year overall survival rates were 26% with nal-IRI+5-FU/LV and 16% with 5-FU/LV. Baseline characteristics associated with long-term survival in the nal-IRI+5-FU/LV arm were Karnofsky performance status ≥90, age ≤65 years, lower CA19-9 levels, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio ≤5 and no liver metastases. No new safety concerns were detected. Conclusions: The survival benefits of nal-IRI+5-FU/LV versus 5-FU/LV were maintained over an extended follow-up, and prognostic markers of survival ≥1 year were identified. Clinical trial registration number: NCT01494506.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Liposomal irinotecan
  • Long-term survivors
  • NAPOLI-1
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
  • Treatment outcome


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