Find Effective Drugs before Starting the Therapy!

No two cancer therapies are the same!

There is a wide range of different drugs which can be applied in treatment of pancreatic cancer. This treatment includes classical chemotherapeutic substances, yet also new targeted drugs are used. Which medication should be prescribed depends on different factors, e.g. the cancer stage and the general condition of the patient. In order to choose the right therapy there are medical guidelines for physicians. However, in some situations the guidelines do not give clear recommendations and propose equivalent treatment options.

Diagnostic assays can help to identify effective and ineffective drugs before the start of a therapy. The available spectrum of therapeutics can thereby be limited on the most promising substances. Our diagnostics contribute avoidance of unnecessary side effects as a consequence of an ineffective therapy and save valuable treatment time. Therefore we offer the following diagnostic tests:

  • CTR-Test® - An efficacy test working on living tumor cells
  • PCDx™ - A tumor-biomarker-analysis working on non-living, conserved tumor cells
  • Guardant360® - A tumor-biomarker-analysis working with blood

Guidelines for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Hereafter you can find an overview about guideline-recommendations, which are elaborated by medical specialist associations:

Drug therapy of localized forms of pancreas carcinoma takes a curative approach. If metastases have formed, however, treatment aims at palliative care. In both cases, chemotherapy usually involves 5-fluorouracil. Alternatively, gemcitabine can be prescribed. A further option is the targeted drug erlotinib, recommended for metastatic pancreas carcinoma.  

locally limited tumor,



locally advanced tumor,

distant metastases

first-line therapy 5-fluorouracil + irinotecan + oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX)
gemcitabine + erlotinib
second-line therapy 5-fluorouracil + oxaliplatin (FOLFOX 6)

This table is based on the "S3-Leitlinie zum exokrinen Pankreaskarzinom", issued by the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften e.V., AWMF) [1], and the "Leitlinie Pankreaskarzinom" from the German Society for Haematology and Medical Oncology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und Medizinische Onkologie e.V., DGHO), published on [3].

Efficacy Tests of Drugs for Pancreatic Cancer

Which drugs can be tested in their efficacy by our diagnostic tests? The following tables give you information on the substances recommended by the guidelines, but also about further drugs which can be found as additional treatment options in literature. These substances are classified in the following categories:

In addition the frequently used combination therapies are listed below.

The testabilities for the CTR-Test®  and the PCDx™ are also given.



Substance name Efficacy testable by living tumor & blood (living cells) Efficacy testable by archived tumor (FFPE) Efficacy testable by blood (plasma) Reference
5-fluorouracil yes yes not yet [1], [2], [3]
capecitabine yes yes not yet [2], [3]
cisplatin yes yes yes [3]
docetaxel yes yes not yet [3]
gemcitabine yes yes not yet [1], [2], [3]
irinotecan yes yes not yet [1], [2], [3]
oxaliplatin yes yes yes [1], [2], [3]


Targeted Drugs

Substance name Efficacy testable by living tumor & blood (living cells) Efficacy testable by archived tumor (FFPE) Efficacy testable by blood (plasma) Reference
erlotinib no validation yet yes yes [1], [2], [3]


Frequently Used Combination Therapies

Substance name Combination name Reference
5-fluorouracil + irinotecan + oxaliplatin FOLFIRINOX [1], [2], [3]
5-fluorouracil + oxaliplatin FOLFOX 6 [2]
capecitabine + gemcitabine   [2]
erlotinib + gemcitabine   [1], [2], [3]

The drugs listed here were identified as potential therapy options after an accurate literature research. Completeness cannot be guaranteed. Status: September 2016.



[1] S3-Leitlinie zum exokrinen Pankreaskarzinom; Version 1.0 - Oktober 2013; Leitlinienprogramm Onkologie der AWMF

[2] Engelhardt, Monika; Berger, D.; Duyster, J.; Mertelsmann, R. (Hrsg.): Das Blaue Buch: Chemotherapie-Manual Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2014 — ISBN 978-364-24174-1-2

[3] Leitlinie Pankreaskarzinom der DGHO (Onkopedia) – Stand August 2010

Tumor Category
Submitted by Dr. Frank Kischkel on