Purpose: A prospective, multiinstitutional trial was initiated in 1991 to examine the tolerance to and efficacy of a program of preoperative chemotherapy (CTRT) and surgical resection for patients with localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Patients and Methods: Fifty-three patients were assessable for analysis, with a median follow-up of 52 months for survivors. Radiation therapy (RT) totaling 5,040 cGy in 180 cGy fractions with mitomycin 10 mg/m2 day 2 and flourouracil (5-FU) 1,000 mg/m2/d continuous infusion days 2 through 5 and 29 through 32 were given as preoperative adjuvant therapy. Twelve patients did not proceed to surgery (one death, one toxicity, three local progression, six distant metastases, one intercurrent illness), whereas 41 patients underwent surgery. Of these, 17 patients did not have resection (11, hepatic and/or peritoneal metastases and six local extension that precluded resection). Twenty-four patients had tumor resection (19 Whipple, four total pancreatectomy, one distal pancreatectomy). Results: Treatment toxicity was primarily hematologic, although a comparable number suffered biliary tract complications, either from obstruction or cholangitis as a result of an occluded stent or the primary tumor. There was one postoperative death. Median survival for the entire group and for the 24 patients with resection was 9.7 and 15.7 months. This survival rate reflected the advanced state of most resected cancers (positive peritoneal cytology, three patients; margins within 2 mm, 13 patients; involved lymph nodes, four patients; and need for superior mesenteric vein (SMV) resection, four patients). Tumor progression was most frequent at metastatic sites. Conclusion: This preoperative CTRT protocol was feasible and safe in a cooperative group setting. Entry of patients with advanced tumors probably accounted for the suboptimal resectability and survival results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research