Preoperative and postoperative chemoradiation strategies in patients treated with pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.


Journal Article (Review)

The effects of preoperative versus postoperative fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy and irradiation on treatment toxicity, duration of treatment, tumor recurrence, and survival were compared in patients who underwent potentially curative therapy for adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head during a 5-year period.From July 1990 to July 1995, 142 patients with localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head deemed resectable on the basis of radiographic images were treated with curative intent using a multimodality approach involving either preoperative or postoperative chemoradiation. Patients with biopsy confirmation of adenocarcinoma and a low-density mass in the pancreatic head identified by computed tomography (CT) received preoperative chemoradiation. Patients without a mass on CT or in whom the preoperative biopsy was negative underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy with planned postoperative chemoradiation. Protocol-based preoperative chemoradiation consisted of external-beam irradiation at a dose of 50.4 Gy (standard fractionation; 1.8 Gy/d, 5 d/wk) or 30 Gy (rapid fractionation; 3 Gy/d, 5 d/wk) combined with continuous infusion 5-FU (300 mg/m2/d, 5 d/wk). Postoperative chemoradiation combined 50.4 Gy of external-beam irradiation (standard fractionation) with continuous-infusion 5-FU.No patient who received preoperative chemoradiation experienced a delay in surgery because of chemoradiation toxicity, but six of 25 eligible patients (24%) did not receive postoperative chemoradiation because of delayed recovery after pancreaticoduodenectomy. No significant differences in toxicities from chemoradiation were observed between groups. Patients treated with rapid-fractionation preoperative chemoradiation had a significantly (P < .01) shorter duration of treatment (median, 62.5 days) compared with patients who received postoperative chemoradiation (median, 98.5 days) or standard-fractionation preoperative chemoradiation (median, 91.0 days). At a median followup of 19 months, no significant differences in survival were observed between treatment groups. No patient who received preoperative chemoradiation and pancreaticoduodenectomy experienced a local recurrence; peritoneal (regional) recurrence occurred in 10% of these patients. Local or regional recurrence occurred in 21% of patients who received pancreaticoduodenectomy and postoperative chemoradiation.Delivery of preoperative and postoperative chemoradiation in patients who underwent potentially curative pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head resulted in similar treatment toxicity, patterns of tumor recurrence, and survival. Rapid-fractionation preoperative chemoradiation ensured the delivery of all components of therapy to all eligible patients with a significantly shorter duration of treatment than with standard-fractionation chemoradiation given either before or after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Prolonged recovery after pancreaticoduodenectomy prevents the delivery of postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation in up to one fourth of eligible patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spitz, FR; Abbruzzese, JL; Lee, JE; Pisters, PW; Lowy, AM; Fenoglio, CJ; Cleary, KR; Janjan, NA; Goswitz, MS; Rich, TA; Evans, DB

Published Date

  • March 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 928 - 937

PubMed ID

  • 9060530

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9060530

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0732-183X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/jco.1997.15.3.928


  • eng