Background: Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Among patients treated with surgery alone, liver metastasis occurs in up to 50%, peritoneal recurrence in 25%, and local recurrence occurs in 50-80% of all patients who underwent resection. Even after a macroscopically curative resection, tumour cells might be observed by microscopy at one or more edges of the resected specimen in 20-51% (R-1) which might account for the high local recurrence. Aim of the Study: An analysis was performed in 54 patients who underwent an irradical resection (R-1 and R-2) for pancreatic cancer. 33 patients were treated with chemoradiotherapy. To evaluate the effect of therapy on survival and recurrence, this group was retrospectively compared to a group of 21 patients that did not receive chemoradiotherapy. Methods: Radiotherapy consisted of 50 Gy external upper abdomen radiation in two courses of 3 weeks, concomitant with intravenous 5-FU 25 mg/kg/24 h continuously on the first 4 days of each treatment course. Follow-up was performed mainly by CT scanning and occasionally by US and was completed for all but 1 patient. Results: The treatment protocol was completed in all patients without complications. Local recurrence was found in 6 (18%) patients in the group of patients who received adjuvant therapy versus 16 (48%) patients in the group that did not receive adjuvant therapy (p = 0.001). The median survival time for the treated group was 12.8 vs. 13.7 months in the group that did not receive chemoradiotherapy (p = 0.9). Three (9%) patients are still alive 140, 88 and 70 months after receiving surgery and adjuvant treatment. Conclusion: Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy clearly gives a significant better local control. However, treatment with 5-FU and radiotherapy does not improve survival due to distant metastases. This therapy probably prolongs survival in only a few patients. More effective treatment methods have to be designed to prevent metastatic disease and improve survival. Copyright

Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy, Irradical resections, Pancreatic cancer,
Digestive Surgery
Department of Pathology

Smeenk, H.G, Incrocci, L, Kazemier, G, van Dekken, H, Tran, T.C.K, Jeekel, J, & van Eijck, C.H.J. (2005). Adjuvant 5-FU-based chemoradiotherapy for patients undergoing R-1/R-2 resections for pancreatic cancer. Digestive Surgery, 22(5), 321–328. doi:10.1159/000089250