Purpose: Patients with nonmetastatic locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer have a dismal prognosis. Conventional concurrent chemoradiotherapy requires 6 weeks of daily treatment and can be arduous. We explored the safety and effectiveness of a 3-day course of hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) followed by gemcitabine in this population.
Patients and methods: A total of 36 patients with nonmetastatic, locally advanced, unresectable pancreatic cancer with ≥12 months of follow-up were included. They received three fractions of 8, 10, or 12 Gy (total dose, 24-36 Gy) of SBRT according to the tumor location in relation to the stomach and duodenum, using fiducial-based respiratory motion tracking on a robotic radiosurgery system. The patients were then offered gemcitabine for 6 months or until tolerance or disease progression.
Results: With an overall median follow-up of 24 months (range, 12-33), the local control rate was 78%, the median overall survival time was 14.3 months, the median carbohydrate antigen 19-9-determined progression-free survival time was 7.9 months, and the median computed tomography-determined progression-free survival time was 9.6 months. Of the 36 patients, 28 (78%) eventually developed distant metastases. Six patients (17%) were free of progression at the last follow-up visit (range, 13-30 months) as determined by normalized tumor markers with stable computed tomography findings. Nine Grade 2 (25%) and five Grade 3 (14%) toxicities attributable to SBRT occurred.
Conclusion: Hypofractionated SBRT can be delivered quickly and effectively in patients with nonmetastatic, locally advanced, unresectable pancreatic cancer with acceptable side effects and minimal interference with gemcitabine chemotherapy.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.