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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Aug 1;80(5):1391-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.04.003. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

Adjuvant chemoradiation therapy after pancreaticoduodenectomy in elderly patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients ≥ 75 years of age.


The study group of 655 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma at the Johns Hopkins Hospital over a 12-year period (8/30/1993 to 2/28/2005). Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, intraoperative data, pathology data, and patient outcomes were collected and analyzed by adjuvant treatment status and age ≥ 75 years. Cox proportional hazards analysis determined clinical predictors of mortality and morbidity.


We identified 166 of 655 (25.3%) patients were ≥ 75 years of age and 489 of 655 patients (74.7%) were <75 years of age. Forty-nine patients in the elderly group (29.5%) received adjuvant CRT. For elderly patients, node-positive metastases (p = 0.008), poor/anaplastic differentiation (p = 0.012), and undergoing a total pancreatectomy (p = 0.010) predicted poor survival. The 2-year survival for elderly patients receiving adjuvant therapy was improved compared with surgery alone (49.0% vs. 31.6%, p = 0.013); however, 5-year survival was similar (11.7% vs. 19.8%, respectively, p = 0.310). After adjusting for major confounders, adjuvant therapy in elderly patients had a protective effect with respect to 2-year survival (relative risk [RR] 0.58, p = 0.044), but not 5-year survival (RR 0.80, p = 0.258). Among the nonelderly, CRT was significantly associated with 2-year survival (RR 0.60, p < 0.001) and 5-year survival (RR 0.69, p < 0.001), after adjusting for confounders.


Adjuvant therapy after PD is significantly associated with increased 2-year but not 5-year survival in elderly patients. Additional studies are needed to select which elderly patients are likely to benefit from adjuvant CRT.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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