Background: Without prospective data establishing a consensus multimodality approach to borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma, institutional treatment regimens vary. This study investigated the outcomes of the clinical pathway at the author's institution, which consists of neoadjuvant gemcitabine, docetaxel, capecitabine, and stereotactic radiotherapy followed by surgery.
Methods: The study reviewed all cases that met the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) diagnostic criteria for borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma from 1 January 2006, to 31 December 2013. Pancreatectomy rates, margin status, pathologic response, disease-free survival (DFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) were retrospectively examined. Standard statistical methods and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were used for statistical comparisons.
Results: Of 121 patients who met criteria, 101 entered the clinical pathway, and 94 (93.1 %) completed neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Of the 101 patients, 55 (54.5 %) underwent pancreatectomy, with 53 patients (96.4 %) having microscopically negative margins (R0) and 2 patients (3.6 %) having microscopically positive margins (R1). Vascular resection was required for 22 patients (40 %), with rates of 95.5 % for R0 (n = 21) and 4.5 % for R1 (n = 1). A pathologic response to treatment was demonstrated by 45 patients (81.8 %) and a complete response by 10 patients (14.5 %). Pancreatectomy resulted in a median DFS of 23 months (95 % conflidence interval [CI] 14.5-31.5), a median DSS of 43 months (95 % CI, 25.7-60.3), and a median OS of 33 months (95 % CI, 25.0-41.0) versus a median DSS and OS of 14 months (95 % CI, 10.9-17.1) for patients without pancreatectomy (DSS: P = 3.5 × 10(-13); OS: P = 4.7 × 10(-10)).
Conclusions: The study demonstrated high rates for neoajduvant therapy completion (93.1 %) and pancreatectomy (54.5 %). After pancreatectomy, DSS was significantly improved (43 months), with a pathologic response demonstrated by 81.8 % and a complete response by 14.5 % of the patients. The results support further study of this borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma clinical pathway.