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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2006 Mar;36(3):159-65. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

A multicenter randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of adjuvant cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil therapy after curative resection in cases of pancreatic cancer.

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Division of HBP Surgery, National Cancer Center Hospital, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.



There have been few randomized controlled clinical trials until now to determine the effectiveness of adjuvant treatments for pancreatic cancer, and the results reported so far are inconsistent.


Patients with invasive ductal pancreatic cancer who underwent radical surgery with clear histological margins at 11 Japanese institutions were enrolled and randomly assigned to one of two groups: surgery-alone group (no further treatment after surgery) and the surgery + chemotherapy group [two courses of postoperative adjuvant systemic chemotherapy with cisplatin (80 mg/m(2), Day 1) and 5-fluorouracil (500 mg/m(2)/day, Days 1-5)]. Patients with a positive resectional margin or with resected distant metastases were excluded from the trial in order to minimize the influence of residual cancer.


Between 1992 and 2000, 89 patients were randomized into the two arms of the trial (45 patients to the surgery + chemotherapy arm and 44 patients to the surgery-alone arm). Four patients in total were found to be ineligible (three in the surgery + chemotherapy group and one in the surgery-alone group). The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. In the surgery + chemotherapy group, four patients did not receive the adjuvant treatment because of patient refusal. Toxicity was minor and acceptable among the eligible patients in the surgery + chemotherapy group. The estimated 5-year survival rates were 26.4% in the surgery + chemotherapy group and 14.9% in the surgery-alone group, and the median duration of survival was 12.5 months and 15.8 months, respectively. The recurrence rates at 5 years were 73.6 and 80.8%, respectively, in the surgery + chemotherapy and the surgery-alone groups. The differences in the survival and recurrence rates between the two groups were not statistically significant.


Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy using cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil was safe and well tolerated; however, no clear survival benefit could be demonstrated.

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