The addition of radiation to chemotherapy does not improve outcome when compared to chemotherapy in the treatment of resected pancreas cancer: The results of a single-institution experience

Ludmila Katherine Martin, Dai Chu Luu, Xiaobai Li, Peter Muscarella, E. Christopher Ellison, Mark Bloomston, Tanios Bekaii-Saab

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3 Scopus citations


Background: Pancreas cancer is highly lethal even at early stages. Adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy (CT) or chemoradiation (CRT) is standard following surgery to delay recurrence and improve survival. There is no consensus on the added value of radiotherapy (RT). We conducted a retrospective analysis of clinical outcomes in pancreas cancer patients treated with CT or CRT following surgery. Methods: Patients with resected pancreas adenocarcinoma were identified in our institutional database. Relevant clinicopathologic and demographic data were collected. Patients were grouped according to adjuvant treatment: group A: no treatment; group B: CT; group C: CRT. The primary endpoint of overall survival was compared between groups B vs. C. Univariate and multivariate analyses of potential prognostic factors were conducted including all patients. Results: A total of 146 evaluable patients were included (group A: n = 33; group B: n = 45; group C: n = 68). Demographics and pathologic characteristics were comparable. There was no significant survival benefit for CRT compared with CT (mOS 16.8 months vs. 21.5 months, respectively, p = 0.76). Local recurrence rates were similar in all three groups. Univariate analyses identified absence of lymph node involvement (hazards ratio [HR] 1.43, p = 0.0082) and administration of adjuvant therapy (HR 0.496, p = 0.0008) as significant predictors for improved survival. Multivariate analyses suggested that patients without nodal involvement derived the most benefit from adjuvant treatment. Conclusions: The addition of RT to CT did not improve survival over CT. Lymph node involvement predicts inferior clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-867
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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