Background: We explored the feasibility and the histologic assessment of treatment effect of preoperative chemoradiation in patients presenting with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Patients and methods: Treatment consisted of concurrent radiotherapy (50 Gy within 5 weeks) and chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (300 mg/m(2)/day, 5 days/week, weeks 1-5) and cisplatin (20 mg/m(2)/day, days 1-5 and 29-33), followed by surgical resection of the pancreatic tumor in patients without progression.
Results: In all, 41 patients were enrolled; 38 (93%) received >or=47 Gy; 30 patients (73%) received >or=75% of the prescribed doses of chemotherapy. Among 40 assessable patients, 27 (67.5%; 95% confidence interval 50.9% to 81.4%) were successfully treated (entire dose of radiation, >or=75% of the chemotherapy dose, no grade 4 non-hematologic toxicity). In all, 26 patients (63%) underwent surgical resection with curative intent and 21 (80.7%) had R0 resection. A total of 13 of 26 specimens (50%) presented a major pathologic response (>or=80% of severely degenerative cancer cells), with one complete pathologic response. Operative mortality was 2.8%. The local recurrence and 2-year survival rates were 4% and 32%, respectively, for the 26 operated patients.
Conclusions: This proposed preoperative scheme is feasible, does not prevent successful surgery, and provides antitumoral effect associated with major histopathological response in 50% of patients and a high R0 resection rate.