Pancreatic cancer: treatment with neutron irradiation alone and with chemotherapy.


PURPOSE To evaluate neutron irradiation alone and with chemotherapy to treat inoperable pancreatic cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS Between 1977 and 1994, 173 patients (60 men, 113 women, aged 43-77 years [mean, 59 years]) with unresectable adenocarcinoma of the exocrine pancreas were treated, 106 with neutron irradiation alone and 67 with concomitant chemotherapy (fluorouracil [5-FU]). At follow-up, which was performed at 2-month intervals until death (range, 4-64 months), clinical status was recorded, noting the presence of overt metastasis and the onset of any major complications. Actuarial (Kaplan-Meier) survival tables were computed for both groups. RESULTS For neutron irradiation alone and neutron irradiation plus chemotherapy, median survival times were 6 months and 9 months, respectively; actuarial survival rates at 3 years were 0 and 7%, respectively; major reactions (grade 3 or higher [scale of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer]) occurred in 19 (18%) and 17 (25%) patients, respectively; and severe complications (grade 4) occurred in five (5%) and four (6%) patients, respectively. Most deaths were due to metastatic disease rather than to failure of local control. CONCLUSIONS Neutron irradiation obliterated pancreatic adenocarcinoma at the primary site but has no effect on long-term survival. With more effective concomitant chemotherapy to prevent metastasis, local control of pancreatic cancer with neutron irradiation could lead to increased long-term survival.


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@article{Cohen1996PancreaticCT, title={Pancreatic cancer: treatment with neutron irradiation alone and with chemotherapy.}, author={Lionel Cohen and Frank R Hendrickson and Arlene J. Lennox and Thomas K Kroc and Molly A Hatcher and Brian R. Bennett}, journal={Radiology}, year={1996}, volume={200 3}, pages={627-30} }