Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy after pancreatic resection for invasive carcinoma associated with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Mar 1;76(3):839-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.071. Epub 2009 Aug 3.


Purpose: Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms are mucin-producing cystic neoplasms of the pancreas. One-third are associated with invasive carcinoma. We examined the benefit of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for this cohort.

Methods and materials: Patients who had undergone pancreatic resection at Johns Hopkins Hospital between 1999 and 2004 were reviewed. Of these patients, 83 with a resected pancreatic mass were found to have an intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm with invasive carcinoma, 70 of whom met inclusion criteria for the present analysis.

Results: The median age at surgery was 68 years. The median tumor size was 3.3 cm, and invasive carcinoma was present at the margin in 16% of the patients. Of the 70 patients, 50% had metastases to the lymph nodes and 64% had Stage II disease. The median survival was 28.0 months, and 2- and 5-year survival rate was 57% and 45%, respectively. Of the 70 patients, 40 had undergone adjuvant CRT. Those receiving CRT were more likely to have lymph node metastases, perineural invasion, and Stage II-III disease. The 2-year survival rate after surgery with vs. without CRT was 55.8% vs. 59.3%, respectively (p = NS). Patients with lymph node metastases or positive surgical margins benefited significantly from CRT (p = .047 and p = .042, respectively). On multivariate analysis, adjuvant CRT was associated with improved survival, with a relative risk of 0.43 (95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.95; p = .044) after adjusting for major confounders.

Conclusion: Adjuvant CRT conferred a 57% decrease in the relative risk of mortality after pancreaticoduodenectomy for intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms with an associated invasive component after adjusting for major confounders. Patients with lymph node metastases or positive margins appeared to particularly benefit from CRT after definitive surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / radiotherapy
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil