Role of radiation therapy in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer.
The 5-year overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer is approximately 5%, with potentially resectable disease representing the curable minority. Although surgical resection remains the cornerstone of treatment, local and distant failure rates are high after complete resection, and debate continues as to the appropriate adjuvant therapy. Many oncologists advocate for adjuvant chemotherapy alone, given that high rates of systemic metastases are the primary cause of patient mortality. Others, however, view locoregional failure as a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality, thereby justifying the use of adjuvant chemoradiation. As in other gastrointestinal malignancies, neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy offers potential advantages in resectable patients, and clinical investigation of this approach has shown promising results; however, phase III data are lacking. Further therapeutic advances and prospective trials are needed to better define the optimal role of adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer.
Palta, M; Willett, C; Czito, B
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