Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Dec 1;84(5):1166-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.02.051. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

A phase I/II trial of intensity modulated radiation (IMRT) dose escalation with concurrent fixed-dose rate gemcitabine (FDR-G) in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



Local failure in unresectable pancreatic cancer may contribute to death. We hypothesized that intensification of local therapy would improve local control and survival. The objectives were to determine the maximum tolerated radiation dose delivered by intensity modulated radiation with fixed-dose rate gemcitabine (FDR-G), freedom from local progression (FFLP), and overall survival (OS).


Eligibility included pathologic confirmation of adenocarcinoma, radiographically unresectable, performance status of 0-2, absolute neutrophil count of ≥ 1,500/mm(3), platelets ≥ 100,000/mm(3), creatinine <2 mg/dL, bilirubin <3 mg/dL, and alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase ≤ 2.5 × upper limit of normal. FDR-G (1000 mg/m(2)/100 min intravenously) was given on days -22 and -15, 1, 8, 22, and 29. Intensity modulated radiation started on day 1. Dose levels were escalated from 50-60 Gy in 25 fractions. Dose-limiting toxicity was defined as gastrointestinal toxicity grade (G) ≥ 3, neutropenic fever, or deterioration in performance status to ≥ 3 between day 1 and 126. Dose level was assigned using TITE-CRM (Time-to-Event Continual Reassessment Method) with the target dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) rate set to 0.25.


Fifty patients were accrued. DLTs were observed in 11 patients: G3/4 anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and/or dehydration (7); duodenal bleed (3); duodenal perforation (1). The recommended dose is 55 Gy, producing a probability of DLT of 0.24. The 2-year FFLP is 59% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 32-79). Median and 2-year overall survival are 14.8 months (95% CI: 12.6-22.2) and 30% (95% CI 17-45). Twelve patients underwent resection (10 R0, 2 R1) and survived a median of 32 months.


High-dose radiation therapy with concurrent FDR-G can be delivered safely. The encouraging efficacy data suggest that outcome may be improved in unresectable patients through intensification of local therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center