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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Jul 1;68(3):809-16. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

A phase II study of fixed-dose rate gemcitabine plus low-dose cisplatin followed by consolidative chemoradiation for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA. andrewko@medicine.ucsf.edu



The optimal strategy for treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer remains controversial, including the respective roles and timing of chemotherapy and radiation. We conducted a Phase II nonrandomized trial to evaluate sequential chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation in this patient population.


Chemotherapy naive patients with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma were treated with fixed-dose rate gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) at 10 mg/m(2)/min) plus cisplatin 20 mg/m(2) on Days 1 and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Those without evidence of extrapancreatic metastases after six cycles of chemotherapy received radiation (5,040 cGy over 28 fractions) with concurrent capecitabine (800 mg/m(2) orally twice daily on the day of radiation) as a radiosensitizer.


A total of 25 patients were enrolled with a median follow-up time of 656 days. Twelve patients (48%) successfully received all six cycles of chemotherapy plus chemoradiation. Eight patients (32%) progressed during chemotherapy, including 7 with extrapancreatic metastases. Grade 3/4 hematologic toxicities were uncommon. Two patients sustained myocardial infarctions during chemotherapy, and 4 were hospitalized for infectious complications, although none in the setting of neutropenia. Median time to progression was 10.5 months and median survival was 13.5 months, with an estimated 1-year survival rate of 62%. Patients receiving all components of therapy had a median survival of 17.0 months.


A strategy of initial fixed-dose rate gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, followed by chemoradiation, shows promising efficacy for treatment of locally advanced disease. A substantial proportion of patients will be identified early on as having extrapancreatic disease and spared the potential toxicities associated with radiation.

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