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Keywords:

  • pancreatic cancer;
  • resection;
  • survival;
  • margins;
  • adjuvant therapy

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of adjuvant chemoradiation for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is accepted in North America, but there is a paucity of data to support this practice. The relation between adjuvant therapy and survival was assessed in a population-based cohort of patients with PAC.

METHODS:

A review was conducted of all cases of resected PAC from 1996 to 2003 using data from the state cancer registry augmented with data from primary medical record review. Use of adjuvant therapy was ascertained from registry data. Survival was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method, and a Cox proportional hazards model was developed for multivariate analysis.

RESULTS:

A total of 298 patients from 27 hospitals met criteria for inclusion. There were 228 patients (76.5%) who were resected with curative intent, with a median overall survival of 12 months. The 6-month, 1-year, and 5-year survival rates were 80.2%, 58.4%, and 6.7%, respectively. Of the 228 patients resected, 122 (53.5%) received adjuvant treatment and had a median survival of 13.0 months versus 11.0 months for those with no adjuvant treatment (P = .16). After adjustment for surrogates of performance status, significant predictors of overall survival included no weight loss, T1/T2 pathologic stage, a microscopically complete resection (R0), and receipt of adjuvant therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

An R0 resection and adjuvant therapy were found to be independently associated with an increase in overall survival in patients with resected PAC. These data underscore the importance of adjuvant therapy in resected PAC and the need for ongoing clinical trials to refine the efficacy and timing of adjuvant therapy in this disease. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.