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Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Dec;18(13):3615-22. doi: 10.1245/s10434-011-1847-4. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Survival and quality of life of patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with adjuvant interferon-based chemoradiation: a phase II trial.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.



We conducted a phase II trial to assess the survival duration and quality of life of patients who received adjuvant interferon-based chemoradiation for pancreatic adenocarcinoma after pancreaticoduodenectomy.


Patients with a performance status of 0 or 1 were enrolled to receive interferon-alfa-2b (3 million units MWF), cisplatin (30 mg/m(2), 6 doses) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU; 175 mg/m(2)/day), concurrent with external-beam radiation (50.4 Gy) and followed by 2 courses of systemic 5-FU. The protocol was modified to include an optional 9 day break in the middle of chemoradiation. Quality of life was assessed by use of validated instruments.


Twenty-eight patients were eligible for analysis. The operation of 15 (54%) patients was performed at other institutions. All patients had T3 tumors, 22 (79%) had positive lymph nodes and 4 (14%) had positive (R1) margins. 24 (86%) patients completed therapy. In all, 25 (89%) patients experienced grade 3 toxicity and 3 (11%) patients were hospitalized. The most common grade 3 events were leukopenia (15, 54%) and neutropenia (12, 43%). No grade 4 toxicity occurred. Overall quality of life decreased during chemoradiation but returned to baseline thereafter and was stable throughout surveillance. 19 patients have died; the median follow-up of the 9 survivors is 62 months. The median OS duration of treated patients was 42.3 (95% confidence interval 30.5-54.2) months.


Adjuvant interferon-based chemoradiation can be delivered safely and tolerably-though with substantial reversible toxicity-to patients of good performance status at an experienced cancer center. Therapy may be associated with an improvement in overall survival.

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