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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 84

of 'Initial chemotherapy and radiation for nonmetastatic, locally advanced, unresectable and borderline resectable, exocrine pancreatic cancer'

Surgical resection after preoperative chemoradiotherapy benefits selected patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.
Aristu J, Cañón R, Pardo F, Martínez-Monge R, Martin-Algarra S, Manuel Ordoñez J, Villafranca E, Moreno M, Cambeiro M, Azinovic I
Am J Clin Oncol. 2003;26(1):30.
Simultaneous chemoradiation is used in unresectable pancreatic cancer for palliation. It is not known if the use of adjuvant surgery will benefit this group of patients. From November 1991 to September 1998, 47 patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer were treated with simultaneous preoperative radiation therapy (45 Gy) and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy followed three different protocols: cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil +/- paclitaxel; cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil (protracted infusion); and docetaxel and gemcitabine. Whipple pancreatoduodenectomy was performed 1 month after the end of radiation in patients selected for resection. Twenty-three unresectable tumors after preoperative treatment (47%) received an additional dose (10-12 Gy) of radiotherapy using intraoperative or external radiation therapy. Twelve patients (26%) were considered to have clinically resectable tumors after the preoperative treatment. Nine patients had surgery (19% of the total number of patients), and 2 of them had complete pathologic response. After chemoradiation, two patients died of pneumonia and gastrointestinal bleeding, respectively, and another two patients died in the postoperative period. Local recurrence was observed in 22% of the patients and 57% had distant metastases. Three-year survival rates for patients with unresectable and resectable tumors was 0% (median survival 10 months) and 48% (median survival 23 months), respectively (p = 0.0004). Preoperative treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer is feasible. In some patients, the tumor can be resected, and in addition some cases of complete pathologic response were found. Long-term survivors were observed in the group of resected tumors. More effective chemotherapy regimens are needed because the majority of the patients died of metastatic disease.
Departments of Oncology, University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain. jjaristu@unav.es