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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Jul 1;68(3):809-16. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

A phase II study of fixed-dose rate gemcitabine plus low-dose cisplatin followed by consolidative chemoradiation for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.



The optimal strategy for treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer remains controversial, including the respective roles and timing of chemotherapy and radiation. We conducted a Phase II nonrandomized trial to evaluate sequential chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation in this patient population.


Chemotherapy naive patients with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma were treated with fixed-dose rate gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) at 10 mg/m(2)/min) plus cisplatin 20 mg/m(2) on Days 1 and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Those without evidence of extrapancreatic metastases after six cycles of chemotherapy received radiation (5,040 cGy over 28 fractions) with concurrent capecitabine (800 mg/m(2) orally twice daily on the day of radiation) as a radiosensitizer.


A total of 25 patients were enrolled with a median follow-up time of 656 days. Twelve patients (48%) successfully received all six cycles of chemotherapy plus chemoradiation. Eight patients (32%) progressed during chemotherapy, including 7 with extrapancreatic metastases. Grade 3/4 hematologic toxicities were uncommon. Two patients sustained myocardial infarctions during chemotherapy, and 4 were hospitalized for infectious complications, although none in the setting of neutropenia. Median time to progression was 10.5 months and median survival was 13.5 months, with an estimated 1-year survival rate of 62%. Patients receiving all components of therapy had a median survival of 17.0 months.


A strategy of initial fixed-dose rate gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, followed by chemoradiation, shows promising efficacy for treatment of locally advanced disease. A substantial proportion of patients will be identified early on as having extrapancreatic disease and spared the potential toxicities associated with radiation.

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