Medline ® Abstracts for References 1-6
of 'Patient education: Pancreatic cancer (Beyond the Basics)'
Fluorouracil vs gemcitabine chemotherapy before and after fluorouracil-based chemoradiation following resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a randomized controlled trial.
Regine WF, Winter KA, Abrams RA, Safran H, Hoffman JP, Konski A, Benson AB, Macdonald JS, Kudrimoti MR, Fromm ML, Haddock MG, Schaefer P, Willett CG, Rich TA
CONTEXT: Among patients with locally advanced metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, gemcitabine has been shown to improve outcomes compared with fluorouracil.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if the addition of gemcitabine to adjuvant fluorouracil chemoradiation (chemotherapy plus radiation) improves survival for patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized controlled phase 3 trial of patients with complete gross total resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and no prior radiation or chemotherapy enrolled between July 1998 and July 2002 with follow-up through August 18, 2006, at 164 US and Canadian institutions.
INTERVENTION: Chemotherapy with either fluorouracil (continuous infusion of 250 mg/m2 per day; n = 230) or gemcitabine (30-minute infusion of 1000 mg/m2 once per week; n = 221) for 3 weeks prior to chemoradiation therapy and for 12 weeks after chemoradiation therapy. Chemoradiation with a continuous infusion of fluorouracil (250 mg/m2 per day) was the same for all patients (50.4 Gy).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Survival for all patients and survival for patients with pancreatic head tumors were the primary end points. Secondary end points included toxicity.
RESULTS: A total of 451 patients were randomized, eligible, and analyzable. Patients with pancreatic head tumors (n = 388) had a median survival of 20.5 months and a 3-year survival of 31% in the gemcitabine group vs a median survival of 16.9 months and a 3-year survival of 22% in the fluorouracil group (hazard ratio, 0.82 [95% confidence interval, 0.65-1.03]; P = .09). The treatment effect was strengthened on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.80 [95% confidence interval, 0.63-1.00]; P = .05). Grade 4 hematologic toxicity was 1% in the fluorouracil group and 14% in the gemcitabine group (P<.001) without a difference in febrile neutropenia or infection. There were no differences in the ability to complete chemotherapy or radiation therapy (>85%).
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of gemcitabine to adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemoradiation was associated with a survival benefit for patients with resected pancreatic cancer, although this improvement was not statistically significant.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00003216.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore 21030, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
A randomized trial of chemoradiotherapy and chemotherapy after resection of pancreatic cancer.
Neoptolemos JP, Stocken DD, Friess H, Bassi C, Dunn JA, Hickey H, Beger H, Fernandez-Cruz L, Dervenis C, Lacaine F, Falconi M, Pederzoli P, Pap A, Spooner D, Kerr DJ, Büchler MW, European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer
N Engl J Med. 2004;350(12):1200.
BACKGROUND: The effect of adjuvant treatment on survival in pancreatic cancer is unclear. We report the final results of the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer 1 Trial and update the interim results.
METHODS: In a multicenter trial using a two-by-two factorial design, we randomly assigned 73 patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to treatment with chemoradiotherapy alone (20 Gy over a two-week period plus fluorouracil), 75 patients to chemotherapy alone (fluorouracil), 72 patients to both chemoradiotherapy and chemotherapy, and 69 patients to observation.
RESULTS: The analysis was based on 237 deaths among the 289 patients (82 percent) and a median follow-up of 47 months (interquartile range, 33 to 62). The estimated five-year survival rate was 10 percent among patients assigned to receive chemoradiotherapy and 20 percent among patients who did not receive chemoradiotherapy (P=0.05). The five-year survival rate was 21 percent among patients who receivedchemotherapy and 8 percent among patients who did not receive chemotherapy (P=0.009). The benefit of chemotherapy persisted after adjustment for major prognostic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant chemotherapy has a significant survival benefit in patients with resected pancreatic cancer, whereas adjuvant chemoradiotherapy has a deleterious effect on survival.
Department of Surgery, Liverpool University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Adjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine vs observation in patients undergoing curative-intent resection of pancreatic cancer: a randomized controlled trial.
Oettle H, Post S, Neuhaus P, Gellert K, Langrehr J, Ridwelski K, Schramm H, Fahlke J, Zuelke C, Burkart C, Gutberlet K, Kettner E, Schmalenberg H, Weigang-Koehler K, Bechstein WO, Niedergethmann M, Schmidt-Wolf I, Roll L, Doerken B, Riess H
CONTEXT: The role of adjuvant therapy in resectable pancreatic cancer is still uncertain, and no recommended standard exists.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that adjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine administered after complete resection of pancreatic cancer improves disease-free survival by 6 months or more.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Open, multicenter, randomized controlled phase 3 trial with stratification for resection, tumor, and node status. Conducted from July 1998 to December 2004 in the outpatient setting at 88 academic and community-based oncology centers in Germany and Austria. A total of 368 patients with gross complete (R0 or R1) resection of pancreatic cancer and no prior radiation or chemotherapy were enrolled into 2 groups.
INTERVENTION: Patients received adjuvant chemotherapy with 6 cycles of gemcitabine on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks (n = 179), or observation ([control]n = 175).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary end point was disease-free survival, and secondary end points were overall survival, toxicity, and quality of life. Survival analysis was based on all eligible patients (intention-to-treat).
RESULTS: More than 80% of patients had R0 resection. The median number of chemotherapy cycles in the gemcitabine group was 6 (range, 0-6). Grade 3 or 4 toxicities rarely occurred with no difference in quality of life (by Spitzer index) between groups. During median follow-up of 53 months, 133 patients (74%) in the gemcitabine group and 161 patients (92%) in the control group developed recurrent disease. Median disease-free survival was 13.4 months in the gemcitabine group (95% confidence interval, 11.4-15.3) and 6.9 months in the control group (95% confidence interval, 6.1-7.8; P<.001, log-rank). Estimated disease-free survival at 3 and 5 years was 23.5% and 16.5% in the gemcitabine group, and 7.5% and 5.5% in the control group, respectively. Subgroup analyses showed that the effect of gemcitabine on disease-free survival was significant in patients with either R0 or R1 resection. There was no difference in overall survival between the gemcitabine group (median, 22.1 months; 95% confidence interval, 18.4-25.8; estimated survival, 34% at 3 years and 22.5% at 5 years) and the control group (median, 20.2 months; 95% confidence interval, 17-23.4; estimated survival, 20.5% at 3 years and 11.5% at 5 years; P = .06, log-rank).
CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative gemcitabine significantly delayed the development of recurrent disease after complete resection of pancreatic cancer compared with observation alone. These results support the use of gemcitabine as adjuvant chemotherapy in resectable carcinoma of the pancreas.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN34802808.
Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, CharitéSchool of Medicine, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany. email@example.com
Six hundred fifty consecutive pancreaticoduodenectomies in the 1990s: pathology, complications, and outcomes.
Yeo CJ, Cameron JL, Sohn TA, Lillemoe KD, Pitt HA, Talamini MA, Hruban RH, Ord SE, Sauter PK, Coleman J, Zahurak ML, Grochow LB, Abrams RA
Ann Surg. 1997;226(3):248.
OBJECTIVE: The authors reviewed the pathology, complications, and outcomes in a consecutive group of 650 patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy in the 1990s.
SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Pancreaticoduodenectomy has been used increasingly in recent years to resect a variety of malignant and benign diseases of the pancreas and periampullary region.
METHODS: Between January 1990 and July 1996, inclusive, 650 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenal resection at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Data were recorded prospectively on all patients. All pathology specimens were reviewed and categorized. Statistical analyses were performed using both univariate and multivariate models.
RESULTS: The patients had a mean age of 63 +/- 12.8 years, with 54% male and 91% white. The number of resections per year rose from 60 in 1990 to 161 in 1995. Pathologic examination results showed pancreatic cancer (n = 282;43%), ampullary cancer (n = 70; 11%), distal common bile duct cancer (n = 65; 10%), duodenal cancer (n = 26; 4%), chronic pancreatitis (n = 71; 11%), neuroendocrine tumor (n = 31; 5%), periampullary adenoma (n = 21; 3%), cystadenocarcinoma (n = 14; 2%), cystadenoma (n = 25; 4%), and other (n = 45; 7%). The surgical procedure involved pylorus preservation in 82%, partial pancreatectomy in 95%, and portal or superior mesenteric venous resection in 4%. Pancreatic-enteric reconstruction, when appropriate, was via pancreaticojejunostomy in 71% and pancreaticogastrostomy in 29%. The median intraoperative blood loss was 625 mL, median units of red cells transfused was zero, and the median operative time was 7 hours. During this period, 190 consecutive pancreaticoduodenectomies were performed without a mortality. Nine deaths occurred in-hospital or within 30 days of operation (1.4% operative mortality). The postoperative complication rate was 41%, with the most common complications being early delayed gastric emptying (19%), pancreatic fistula (14%), and wound infection (10%). Twenty-three patients required reoperation in the immediate postoperative period (3.5%), most commonly for bleeding, abscess, or dehiscence. The median postoperative length of stay was 13 days. A multivariate analysis of the 443 patients with periampullary adenocarcinoma indicated that the most powerful independent predictors favoring long-term survival included a pathologic diagnosis of duodenal adenocarcinoma, tumor diameter<3 cm, negative resection margins, absence of lymph node metastases, well-differentiated histology, and no reoperation.
CONCLUSIONS: This single institution, high-volume experience indicates that pancreaticoduodenectomy can be performed safely for a variety of malignant and benign disorders of the pancreas and periampullary region. Overall survival is determined largely by the pathology within the resection specimen.
Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-4606, USA.
Surgeon volume and operative mortality in the United States.
Birkmeyer JD, Stukel TA, Siewers AE, Goodney PP, Wennberg DE, Lucas FL
N Engl J Med. 2003;349(22):2117.
BACKGROUND: Although the relation between hospital volume and surgical mortality is well established, for most procedures, the relative importance of the experience of the operating surgeon is uncertain.
METHODS: Using information from the national Medicare claims data base for 1998 through 1999, we examined mortality among all 474,108 patients who underwent one of eight cardiovascular procedures or cancer resections. Using nested regression models, we examined the relations between operative mortality and surgeon volume and hospital volume (each in terms of total procedures performed per year), with adjustment for characteristics of the patients and other characteristics of the providers.
RESULTS: Surgeon volume was inversely related to operative mortality for all eight procedures (P=0.003 for lung resection, P<0.001 for all other procedures). The adjusted odds ratio for operative death (for patients with a low-volume surgeon vs. those with a high-volume surgeon) varied widely according to the procedure--from 1.24 for lung resection to 3.61 for pancreatic resection. Surgeon volume accounted for a large proportion of theapparent effect of the hospital volume, to an extent that varied according to the procedure: it accounted for 100 percent of the effect for aortic-valve replacement, 57 percent for elective repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, 55 percent for pancreatic resection, 49 percent for coronary-artery bypass grafting, 46 percent for esophagectomy, 39 percent for cystectomy, and 24 percent for lung resection. For most procedures, the mortality rate was higher among patients of low-volume surgeons than among those of high-volume surgeons, regardless of the surgical volume of the hospital in which they practiced.
CONCLUSIONS: For many procedures, the observed associations between hospital volume and operative mortality are largely mediated by surgeon volume. Patients can often improve their chances of survival substantially, even at high-volume hospitals, by selecting surgeons who perform the operations frequently.
Department of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Erlotinib plus gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine alone in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a phase III trial of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group.
Moore MJ, Goldstein D, Hamm J, Figer A, Hecht JR, Gallinger S, Au HJ, Murawa P, Walde D, Wolff RA, Campos D, Lim R, Ding K, Clark G, Voskoglou-Nomikos T, Ptasynski M, Parulekar W, National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group
J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(15):1960. Epub 2007 Apr 23.
PURPOSE: Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer have a poor prognosis and there have been no improvements in survival since the introduction of gemcitabine in 1996. Pancreatic tumors often overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor type 1 (HER1/EGFR) and this is associated with a worse prognosis. We studied the effects of adding the HER1/EGFR-targeted agent erlotinib to gemcitabine in patients with unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive standard gemcitabine plus erlotinib (100 or 150 mg/d orally) or gemcitabine plus placebo in a double-blind, international phase III trial. The primary end point was overall survival.
RESULTS: A total of 569 patients were randomly assigned. Overall survival based on an intent-to-treat analysis was significantly prolonged on the erlotinib/gemcitabine arm with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.69 to 0.99; P = .038, adjusted for stratification factors; median 6.24 months v 5.91 months). One-year survival was also greater with erlotinib plus gemcitabine (23% v 17%; P = .023). Progression-free survival was significantly longer with erlotinib plus gemcitabine with an estimated HR of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.92; P = .004). Objective response rates were not significantly different between the arms, although more patients on erlotinib had disease stabilization. There was a higher incidence of some adverse events with erlotinib plus gemcitabine, but most were grade 1 or 2.
CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this randomized phase III trial is the first to demonstrate statistically significantly improved survival in advanced pancreatic cancer by adding any agent to gemcitabine. The recommended dose of erlotinib with gemcitabine for this indication is 100 mg/d.
Division of Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada. email@example.com