Article Abstract

Systemic therapy without radiation may be appropriate as neoadjuvant therapy for localized pancreas cancer

Authors: Scott Kizy, Ariella M. Altman, Keith M. Wirth, Schelomo Marmor, Jane Y. C. Hui, Todd M. Tuttle, Emil Lou, Khalid Amin, Jason W. Denbo, Eric H. Jensen


Background: The utility of neoadjuvant treatment for resectable pancreas cancer is yet to be determined, but has commonly included chemoradiation. We evaluated outcomes in patients with radiographically resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy without chemoradiation.
Methods: A retrospective review of patients in our institutional pancreatic cancer registry was performed, which identified 36 patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone for resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 2012 and 2016.
Results: Median age at diagnosis was 66.3 years. Chemotherapy regimens included gemcitabine (n=17), gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel (n=8), or 5-FU/leucovorin/irinotecan/oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) (n=11). Surgical resection was performed in 69% of patients (n=25), with an R0 resection rate of 92% (n=23 patients). During chemotherapy, distant disease became apparent in 19% of patients (n=7), while no patients had evidence of local progression. Resection rates were similar between chemotherapy regimens (single agent =59%, multiple agent =79%). Median overall survival for all patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy was 30.3 and 34.4 months for those who underwent surgical resection. There was no difference in median survival for patients treated with gemcitabine (31.3 months) or multi-agent chemotherapy (29.7 months).
Conclusions: A short course of neoadjuvant chemotherapy without chemoradiation may improve patient selection prior to surgical resection for pancreas cancer. Further, local disease progression did not limit surgical resection in this small series.

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