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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jan 1;73(1):159-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.04.012. Epub 2008 May 26.

Efficacy and factors affecting outcome of gemcitabine concurrent chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Cancer Center, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



To evaluate the efficacy and prognostic factors of gemcitabine (GEM) concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.


Between January 2002 and December 2005, 55 patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer treated with GEM (400 mg/m(2)/wk) concurrently with radiotherapy (median dose, 50.4 Gy; range, 26-61.2) at Taipei Veterans General Hospital were enrolled. GEM (1,000 mg/m(2)) was continued after CCRT as maintenance therapy once weekly for 3 weeks and repeated every 4 weeks. The response, survival, toxicity, and prognostic factors were evaluated.


With a median follow-up of 10.8 months, the 1- and 2-year survival rate was 52% and 19%, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) and median time to progression (TTP) was 12.4 and 5.9 months, respectively. The response rate was 42% (2 complete responses and 21 partial responses). The major Grade 3-4 toxicities were neutropenia (22%) and anorexia (19%). The median OS and TTP was 15.8 and 9.5 months in the GEM CCRT responders compared with 7.5 and 3.5 months in the nonresponders, respectively (both p < 0.001). The responders had a better Karnofsky performance status (KPS) (86 +/- 2 vs. 77 +/- 2, p = 0.002) and had received a greater GEM dose intensity (347 +/- 13 mg/m(2)/wk vs. 296 +/- 15 mg/m(2)/wk, p = 0.02) than the nonresponders. KPS and serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 were the most significant prognostic factors of OS and TTP.


The results of our study have shown that GEM CCRT is effective and tolerable for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The KPS and GEM dose correlated with response. Also, the KPS and CA 19-9 level were the most important factors affecting OS and TTP.

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