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Hepatogastroenterology. 2005 Jan-Feb;52(61):246-50.

Dose escalation of concurrent hypofractionated radiotherapy and continuous infusion 5-FU-chemotherapy in advanced adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.

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Klinik fuer Strahlentherapie und Radiologische Onkologie, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany.



To investigate the advantages and palliative effectiveness of concurrent hypofractionated radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (5-FU) in patients with locally advanced and metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.


A total of 26 patients were enrolled in this study. Twenty patients had locally advanced (M0) and 6 patients had metastatic (M1) disease. They were treated with hypofractionated radiation therapy (RT) (4x3 Gy per week) and concurrent continuous infusion (300mg/sqm/24h) of 5-fluorouracil. The RT doses were escalated in 6-Gy increments starting from 24 Gy in 8 fractions in 2 weeks to 30 Gy in 10 fractions in 2.5 weeks and finally to 36 Gy in 12 fractions in 3 weeks.


Only 1 (4%) patient experienced grade 3 mucositis, while 12 (46%) patients experienced grade 2 nausea and 1 (4%) patient experienced grade 2 weakness. No patient experienced treatment interruption or dose reduction. Late high-grade (>3) toxicity was not observed, but few patients experienced prolonged hematological toxicity, due to administration of chemotherapy after radiochemotherapy. Pain improved in 70% of the patients. The median survival time for all 26 patients is 8 months, 9 months for locally advanced cancer patients and 5 months for metastatic cancer patients.


Dose escalation to 36 Gy in a hypofractionated manner proved to be feasible with low toxicity in patients with locally advanced and metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and warrants further investigation aiming at optimal tailoring in these two subgroups of patients.

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