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Keywords:

  • pancreatic cancer;
  • neoadjuvant;
  • gemcitabine;
  • oxaliplatin

BACKGROUND

The purpose of this study was to evaluate preoperative treatment with full-dose gemcitabine, oxaliplatin, and radiation therapy (RT) in patients with localized pancreatic cancer.

METHODS

Eligibility included confirmation of adenocarcinoma, resectable or borderline resectable disease, a performance status ≤2, and adequate organ function. Treatment consisted of two 28-day cycles of gemcitabine (1 g/m2 over 30 minutes on days 1, 8, and 15) and oxaliplatin (85 mg/m2 on days 1 and 15) with RT during cycle 1 (30 Gray [Gy] in 2-Gy fractions). Patients were evaluated for surgery after cycle 2. Patients who underwent resection received 2 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight evaluable patients received treatment at 4 centers. By central radiology review, 23 patients had resectable disease, 39 patients had borderline resectable disease, and 6 patients had unresectable disease. Sixty-six patients (97%) completed cycle 1 with RT, and 61 patients (90%) completed cycle 2. Grade ≥3 adverse events during preoperative therapy included neutropenia (32%), thrombocytopenia (25%), and biliary obstruction/cholangitis (14%). Forty-three patients underwent resection (63%), and complete (R0) resection was achieved in 36 of those 43 patients (84%). The median overall survival was 18.2 months (95% confidence interval, 13–26.9 months) for all patients, 27.1 months (95% confidence interval, 21.2–47.1 months) for those who underwent resection, and 10.9 months (95% confidence interval, 6.1–12.6 months) for those who did not undergo resection. A decrease in CA 19-9 level after neoadjuvant therapy was associated with R0 resection (P = .02), which resulted in a median survival of 34.6 months (95% confidence interval, 20.3–47.1 months). Fourteen patients (21%) are alive and disease free at a median follow-up of 31.4 months (range, 24–47.6 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative therapy with full-dose gemcitabine, oxaliplatin, and RT was feasible and resulted in a high percentage of R0 resections. The current results are particularly encouraging, because the majority of patients had borderline resectable disease. Cancer 2013;119:2692–2700. © 2013 American Cancer Society.