Locally advanced pancreatic cancer: the role of definitive chemoradiotherapy

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2014 Sep;26(9):560-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jul 4.


At the time of diagnosis, around 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer present at a resectable stage, 50% have metastatic disease and 30% have locally advanced tumour, non-metastatic but unresectable because of superior mesenteric artery or coeliac encasement. Despite advances in chemoradiotherapy and improved systemic chemotherapeutic agents, patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer suffer from high rates of distant metastatic failure and from local progression, with a median survival time ranging from 5 to 11 months. In the past 30 years, modest improvements in median survival have been attained for these patients treated by chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy protocols. The optimal therapy for patients with locally advanced pancreatic carcinoma remains controversial. This review aims to evaluate the role of radiotherapy for these patients.

Keywords: Chemoradiotherapy; gemcitabine; locally advanced; pancreatic adenocarcinoma; radiotherapy; review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*