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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jul 1;83(3):e331-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.01.008. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Survival after chemoradiation in resected pancreatic cancer: the impact of adjuvant gemcitabine.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan 48072, USA.



To evaluate survival in patients with resected pancreatic cancer treated with concurrent chemoradiation with or without adjuvant gemcitabine (Gem).


From 1998 to 2010, 86 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma who underwent resection were treated with adjuvant concurrent chemoradiation. Thirty-four patients received concurrent 5-fluorouracil-based chemoradiation (5-FU/RT) with traditional field radiation (range, 45-61.2 Gy; median, 50.4 Gy) without further adjuvant therapy. Thirty patients received traditional field 5-FU/RT (range, 45-60.4 Gy; median, 50.4 Gy) with Gem (1,000 mg/m(2) weekly) either before and after radiotherapy or only after radiotherapy. Twenty-two patients received concurrent full-dose Gem (1,000 mg/m(2) weekly)-based chemoradiation (Gem/RT), consisting of involved-field radiation (range, 27-38 Gy; median, 36 Gy) followed by further adjuvant Gem.


The median age of the cohort was 65 years (range, 40-80 years). Of the patients, 58 had T3 tumors (67%), 22 had T2 tumors (26%), and 6 had T1 tumors (7%). N1 disease was present in 61 patients (71%), whereas 18 patients (21%) had R1 resections. Performance status, lymph node status, and margin status were all similar among the treatment groups. Median follow-up was 19.0 months. Median overall survival (OS) (19.2 months, 19.0 months, and 21.0 months) and 3-year OS rates (26.5%, 27.2%, and 32.1%) were similar among patients with 5-FU/RT with no adjuvant Gem, those with 5-FU/RT with adjuvant Gem, and those with Gem/RT with adjuvant Gem, respectively (p = 0.88). Patients who received adjuvant Gem had a similar median OS (22.1 months) and 3-year OS rate (29%) compared to patients who did not (19.2 months and 26.5%, respectively) (p = 0.62). There was a trend for improved 3-year OS rates in patients with R0 vs. R1 resections (28.1% vs. 14.2%, p = 0.06) and in patients with T1 and T2 vs. T3 tumors (38% vs. 20%, p = 0.09). Node-negative patients had an improved 3-year OS rate (30.1%) when compared with patients with N1 disease (16.2%) (p = 0.02).


In our cohort of patients with resected pancreatic cancer, Gem chemotherapy did not improve OS after chemoradiotherapy.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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