Long-term Survival and Metastatic Pattern of Pancreatic and Periampullary Cancer After Adjuvant Chemoradiation or Observation: Long-term Results of EORTC Trial 40891

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Background:The role of adjuvant chemoradiation in pancreatic cancer remains unclear. This report presents the long-term follow-up results of EORTC trial 40891, which assessed the role of chemoradiation in resectable pancreatic cancer.Methods:Two hundred eighteen patients were randomized after resection of the primary tumor. Eligible patients had T1–2 N0-N1a M0 pancreatic cancer or T1–3 N0-N1a M0 periampullary cancers, all histologic proven. Patients in the treatment group (n = 110) underwent postoperative chemoradiation (40 Gy plus 5-FU). Patients in the control group (n = 108) had no further adjuvant treatment.Findings:After a median follow-up of 11.7 years, 173 deaths (79%) have been reported. The overall survival did not differ between the 2 treatment groups (Chemoradiation treatment vs. Controls: death rate ratio 0.91, 95% CI: 0.68–1.23, P value 0.54). The 10-year overall survival was 18% in the whole population of patients (8% in the pancreatic head cancer group and 29% in the periampullary cancer group).Interpretation:These results confirm the previous short-term analysis, indicating no benefit of adjuvant chemoradiation over observation in patients with resected pancreatic cancer or periampullary cancer. Patients with pancreatic cancer may survive more than 10 years. Only 1 of 31 cases recurred after year 7.

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