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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 27(2); 2009 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2009;27(2): 64-70. doi: https://doi.org/10.3857/jkstro.2009.27.2.64
Comparing Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy to Chemotherapy Alone for Locally Advanced Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer
Jeong Hoon Park, Woo Chul Kim, Hun Jung Kim, Hee Keun Gwak
Department of Radiation Oncology, Inha University Hospital, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. cancer@inha.ac.kr
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is the standard treatment for locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer. However, the introduction of gemcitabine and the recognition of a benefit in patients with advanced disease stimulated the design of trials that compare chemotherapy alone to concurrent chemoradiation. Therefore, we evaluated role of CCRT for locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We carried out a retrospective analysis of treatment results for patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer between January 2000 and January 2008. The radiation was delivered to the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes with a 1~2 cm margin at a total dose of 36.0~59.4 Gy (median: 54 Gy). The chemotherapeutic agent delivered with the radiation was 5-FU (500 mg/m2). The patients who underwent chemotherapy alone received gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2) alone or gemcitabine with 5-FU. The follow-up period ranged from 2 to 38 months. The survival and prognostic factors were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test, respectively.
RESULTS:
Thirty-four patients received concurrent chemoradiotherapy, whereas 21 patients received chemotherapy alone. The median survival time was 12 months for CCRT patients, compared to 11 months for chemotherapy alone patients (p=0.453). The median progression-free survival was 8 months for CCRT patients, compared to 5 months for chemotherapy alone patients (p=0.242). The overall response included 9 partial responses for CCRT and 1 partial response for chemotherapy alone. In total, 26% of patients from the CCRT group experienced grade 3~4 bowel toxicity. In contract, no grade 3~4 bowel toxicity was observed in the chemotherapy alone group. The significant prognostic factors of overall survival were lymph node status, high CA19-9, and tumor location.
CONCLUSION:
The response rate and progression-free survival were more favorable in the CCRT group, when compared with the chemotherapy alone group. Therefore, radiation therapy seems to be an effective tool for local tumor control.
Key Words: Unresectable pancreatic cancer, Concurrent chemoradiotherapy, Chemotherapy alone
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