“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the prognosis of patients with cancers such as this,” says Robert Miller, M.D., co-primary investigator and a radiation oncologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Our findings show that surgery should be complemented by both radiation and chemotherapy for best results.”

In the study, the team of surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists from Mayo’s Arizona and Minnesota campuses examined the records of 472 consecutively-treated patients. The patients all had surgery with negative margins, between 1975 and 2005, to remove pancreatic adenocarcinoma. They excluded patients who had metastatic cancer, tumours that could not be removed or were not removed entirely, or indolent tumour types.

Ultimately 454 patients were included in the final comparison of patients who received adjuvant therapy with those who had not. More than half received concurrent radiation and chemotherapy following surgery and 50 percent survived two years, with 28 percent surviving at least five years. The researchers report more than one-third received no additional therapy after surgery, and the comparative survival rates were significantly less, at 39 percent and 17 percent in two and five years, respectively.

Additional chemotherapy after concurrent radiation and chemotherapy seemed to have an even greater effect on survival (61 percent and 34 percent survived two and five years), but only 28 patients received that combination, not enough for the researchers to draw a firm conclusion about its effectiveness.

MEDICA.de; Source: Mayo Clinic