Localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreas: The rationale for preoperative chemoradiation

Jeffrey D. Wayne, Eddie K. Abdalla, Robert A. Wolff, Christopher H. Crane, Peter W T Pisters, Douglas B. Evans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. In spite of advancements in surgical treatment, nearly 80% of patients thought to have localized pancreatic cancer die of recurrent or metastatic disease when treated with surgery alone. Therefore, efforts to alter the patterns of recurrence and improve survival for patients with pancreatic cancer currently focus on the delivery of systemic therapy and irradiation before or after surgery. Postoperative adjuvant therapy appears to improve median survival. However, more than one-fourth of patients do not complete planned adjuvant therapy due to surgical complications or a delay in postoperative recovery of performance status. Utilizing a preoperative (neoadjuvant) approach, overall treatment time is reduced, a greater proportion of patients receive all components of therapy, and patients with rapidly progressive disease are spared the side effects of surgery as metastatic disease may be found at restaging following chemoradiation (prior to surgery). This paper examines the factors pertinent to clinical trial design for resectable pancreatic cancer, and carefully reviews the existing data supporting adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy for potentially resectable disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Amineoplastic agents
  • Chemotherapy
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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