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J Clin Oncol. 1998 Dec;16(12):3843-50.

Rapid-fractionation preoperative chemoradiation, pancreaticoduodenectomy, and intraoperative radiation therapy for resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Pancreatic Tumor Study Group, Houston 77030, USA. ppisters@notes.mdacc.tmc.edu



To evaluate the toxicities, radiographic and pathologic responses, and event-free outcomes with combined modality treatment that involves preoperative rapid-fractionation chemoradiation, pancreaticoduodenectomy, and electron-beam intraoperative radiation therapy (EB-IORT) for patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


Patients with radiographically resectable localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head were entered onto a preoperative protocol that consisted of a 2-week course of fluorouracil (5-FU) 300 mg/m2 daily 5 days per week and concomitant rapid-fractionation radiation 30 Gy, 3 Gy daily 5 days per week. Radiographic restaging was performed 4 weeks after chemoradiation, and patients with localized disease underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy with EB-IORT 10 to 15 Gy.


Thirty-five patients were entered onto the study and completed chemoradiation, 34 (97%) as outpatients. Three patients (9%) experienced grade 3 nausea and vomiting; no other grade 3 or 4 toxicities were observed. Of the 27 patients taken to surgery, 20 patients (74%) underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy with EB-IORT. All patients had a less than grade III pathologic response to preoperative chemoradiation. At a median follow-up of 37 months, the 3-year survival rate in patients who underwent combined modality therapy was 23%.


Combined modality treatment with preoperative rapid-fractionation chemoradiation, pancreaticoduodenectomy, and EB-IORT is associated with minimal toxicity and excellent locoregional control. This represents one approach to maximize the proportion of patients who receive all components of combined modality therapy and avoids the toxicity of pancreaticoduodenectomy in patients found to have metastatic disease at the time of restaging.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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