Primary Article

Radiation Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer A Retrospective Study of the University of Louisville Experience

Authors: BERNARD A. TISDALE MD, KRISTIE J. PARIS MD, ROBERT D. LINDBERG MD, BABY JOSE MD, WILLIAM J. SPANOS JR. MD

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Although multiple regimens and approaches have been used in attempts to treat pancreatic cancer, the 5-year disease-free survival is dismal. With an increase in incidence of pancreatic cancer over the past 35 years, researchers continue their efforts to find an effective treatment for this aggressive disease. Between January 1983 and January 1993, we treated 77 patients with radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer. Only 35 of these patients had localized adenocarcinoma and were treated for cure. In this group of 35 patients, 5 received < 4,000 cGy (mean survival of 5.6 months) and 30 received ≥4,000 cGy (mean survival of 14.7 months). Twenty-four of these 30 received ≥ 5,000 cGy, resulting in a mean survival of 15.4 months, and 17 of these 24 received ≥ 6,000 cGy, with a mean survival of 15.7 months. Some palliation of symptoms was achieved in 57% of all patients. These results at the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center are comparable to other published results, but the prognosis for patients with pancreatic cancer remains bleak.

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