Better defining the role of total neoadjuvant radiation: changing paradigms in locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Document Type


Publication Date



Surgery, MMCRI

Journal Title

Annals of surgical oncology : the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology.


BACKGROUND: This study was designed to better define the role of radiation (Neo-Rad) in addition to neoadjuvant multiagent chemotherapy (NAT) for the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using the NCDB. Individuals with AJCC clinical T3/T4 pancreatic carcinoma who underwent resection and multiagent chemotherapy were included. Kaplan-Meier, logistic-regression, and Cox proportional-hazard models were used for analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 2703 patients were included; 2039 had T3 and 664 had T4 tumors, and 1092 (40.4%) received Neo-Rad. Median follow-up was 22.5 months. During the study period, there was increased use of NAT and a decline in the use of Neo-Rad. Addition of Neo-Rad did not affect 30-day (2.51% vs. 3.24%, p = 0.272) or 90-day mortality (5.23% vs. 6.38%, p = 0.216). Neo-Rad was not associated with improved overall survival on univariable (25.95 vs. 24.7 months, p = 0.202), or multivariable analyses (hazard ratio [HR] 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.05). Time from diagnosis to definitive surgery was increased by Neo-Rad (204 vs. 115 days, p < 0.001). Neo-Rad was associated with increased pathologic downstaging in T3 (32.8% vs. 14.4%) (odds ratio [OR] 2.90; 95% CI 2.30-3.66) and T4 tumors (88.9% vs. 77.8%) (OR 2.29; 95% CI 1.44-3.67); complete pathologic response (5.3% vs. 1.6%) (OR 2.89; 95% CI 1.73-4.83), and increased R0 resection rates (85.7% vs. 76.8%) (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.44-2.23).

CONCLUSIONS: The use of neoadjuvant therapy is increasing for the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The addition of radiation to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improved antineoplastic effectiveness (downstaging, complete pathologic response), surgical resection (R0 rates), but has no effect on overall survival.