Retrospective analysis of capecitabine and radiation therapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To report our clinical experience with 25 patients receiving concurrent capecitabine and irradiation in the treatment of locally advanced or resected pancreatic cancer. Methods and Materials: We reviewed the medical records of patients with pancreatic cancer who received treatment with capecitabine and irradiation for pancreatic cancer and received capecitabine 1200 to 1600 mg/m2 orally twice daily Monday through Friday with concurrent radiation (5040-5400 cGy, 180 cGy, 5 days/week), followed by a 4-week rest, then 6 to 8 cycles of capecitabine alone 2000 to 2500 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days every 3 weeks (surgically resected), and capecitabine 2000 to 2500 mg/m2 BID for 14 days every 3 weeks until progressive disease (unresected). Results: The population consisted of 14 females and 11 males, with a median age of 64 years (range 37-80 years). Histology was adenocarcinoma in 23 patients and neuroendocrine tumor in 2 patients. One patient had resected tumor, 3 patients were resected with positive margins, 1 patient was resectable with poor performance status prohibiting resection, and 20 patients had unresected locally advanced disease. Median dose of capecitabine concurrent with radiation was 1500 mg/m2/day (600-1600 mg/m 2/day) given orally in two divided doses, 5 days per week on days of treatment with radiation therapy. Patients received a median total radiation dose of 5040 cGy (4500-5040 cGy) over 6 weeks. Eleven patients were continued on capecitabine cycles after treatment with concurrent capecitabine and irradiation. The median number of cycles completed was 3, with one patient completing 8 cycles. Median survival was 14 months, with 18 patients surviving through the end of the study period. Median overall primary tumor response over the study period was-2% (-100%-100%). Five patients were taken to laparotorny after treatment based on radiographic response and two patients were successfully resected. By the end of the study period, there were 4 complete remissions, 2 partial remissions, 6 stable disease, and 13 progressive disease. Grade 3 or 4 toxicity was observed mainly with gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia. Three patients had G3 hand-foot syndrome, 1 patient had G3 peripheral neuropathy, 1 patient had G4 gastrointestinal bleed, and 1 patient had G3 radiation enteritis. There was one death directly related to treatment secondary to uncontrolled GI bleeding. Conclusion: In patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer, concurrent capecitabine and radiation had good survival response in patients and good tumor response. Toxicity of oral capecitabine was well tolerated.
  • Author List

  • Saif MW; Joseph M; Tang S; Vickers S; Plants B; Russo S
  • Start Page

  • 635
  • End Page

  • 646
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 4