Original Article

Treatment of locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer: a 10-year experience

Nadia K Malik, Kilian Salerno May, Rameela Chandrasekhar, Wen Wee Ma, Leayn Flaherty, Renuka Iyer, John Gibbs, Boris Kuvshinoff, Gregory Wilding, Graham Warren, Gary Y Yang


Purpose: We retrospectively analyzed the results of patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (LAPC) treated with either chemoradiation (CRT) or chemotherapy alone over the past decade.
Methods and materials: Between December 1998 and October 2009, 116 patients with LAPC were treated at our institution. Eighty-four patients received concurrent chemoradiation [RT (+) group], primarily 5-flourouracil based (70%). Thirty-two patients received chemotherapy alone [RT (-) group], the majority gemcitabine based (78%). Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated from date of diagnosis to date of first recurrence and to date of death or last follow-up, respectively. Univariate statistical analysis was used to determine significant prognostic factors for overall survival.
Results: Median patient age was 67 years. Sixty patients were female (52%). Median follow-up was 11 months (range, 1.6-59.4 months). The RT (+) group received a median radiation dose of 50.4 Gy, was more likely to present with ECOG 0-1 performance status, and experienced less grade 3-4 toxicity. PFS was 10.9 versus 9.1 months (P=0.748) and median survival was 12.5 versus 9.1 months (P=0.998) for the RT (+) and RT (-) groups respectively (P=0.748). On univariate analysis, patients who experienced grade 3-4 toxicity had worse overall survival than those who did not (P=0.02).
Conclusions: Optimal management for LAPC continues to evolve. Patients who developed treatmentrelated grade 3-4 toxicity have a poorer prognosis. Survival rates were not statistically significant between chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy groups.

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