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Fluorouracil-based chemoradiation with either gemcitabine or fluorouracil chemotherapy after resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: 5-year analysis of the U.S. Intergroup/RTOG 9704 phase III trial.

Author(s): Regine WF, Winter KA, Abrams R, Safran H, Hoffman JP, Konski A, Benson AB, Macdonald JS, Rich TA, Willett CG

Affiliation(s): Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA, wregine@umm.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-05, Ann Surg Oncol., 18(5):1319-26. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase III; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

BACKGROUND: The impact of the addition of gemcitabine to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemoradiation (CRT) on 5-year overall survival (OS) in resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma are presented with updated results of a phase III trial. METHODS: After resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, patients were randomized to pre- and post-CRT 5-FU versus pre- and post-CRT gemcitabine. 5-FU was provided continuously at 250 mg/m(2)/day, and gemcitabine was provided at 1000 mg/m(2) weekly. Both were provided over 3 weeks before and 12 weeks after CRT. CRT was provided at 50.4 Gy with continuously provided 5-FU. The primary end point was survival for all patients and for patients with tumor of the pancreatic head. RESULTS: Four hundred fifty-one patients were eligible. Univariate analysis showed no difference in OS. Pancreatic head tumor patients (n = 388) had a median survival and 5-year OS of 20.5 months and 22% with gemcitabine versus 17.1 months and 18% with 5-FU. On multivariate analysis, patients on the gemcitabine arm with pancreatic head tumors experienced a trend toward improved OS (P = 0.08). First site of relapse local recurrence in 28% of patients versus distant relapse in 73%. CONCLUSIONS: The sequencing of 5-FU CRT with gemcitabine as done in this trial is not associated with a statistically significant improvement in OS. Despite local recurrence being approximately half of that reported in previous adjuvant trials, distant disease relapse still occurs in >/= 70% of patients. These findings serve as the basis for the recently activated EORTC/U.S. Intergroup RTOG 0848 phase III adjuvant trial evaluating the impact of CRT after completion of a full course of gemcitabine.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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