Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Versus Upfront Surgery for Resectable and Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer: Long-Term Results of the Dutch Randomized PREOPANC Trial

Author(s): Eva Versteijne, MD, PhD1; Jacob L. van Dam, MD2; Mustafa Suker, MD, PhD2; Quisette P. Janssen, MD2; Karin Groothuis, MSc3; Janine M. Akkermans-Vogelaar, BSc3; Marc G. Besselink, MD, PhD4; Bert A. Bonsing, MD, PhD5; Jeroen Buijsen, MD, PhD6; Olivier R. Busch, MD, PhD4; Geert-Jan M. Creemers, MD, PhD7; Ronald M. van Dam, MD, PhD8,9,10; Ferry A. L. M. Eskens, MD, PhD11; Sebastiaan Festen, MD, PhD12; Jan Willem B. de Groot, MD, PhD13; Bas Groot Koerkamp, MD, PhD2; Ignace H. de Hingh, MD, PhD14; Marjolein Y. V. Homs, MD, PhD11; Jeanin E. van Hooft, MD, PhD15,16; Emile D. Kerver, MD17; Saskia A. C. Luelmo, MD18; Karen J. Neelis, MD, PhD19; Joost Nuyttens, MD, PhD20; Gabriel M. R. M. Paardekooper, MD21; Gijs A. Patijn, MD, PhD22; Maurice J. C. van der Sangen, MD, PhD23; Judith de Vos-Geelen, MD, PhD24; Johanna W. Wilmink, MD, PhD25; Aeilko H. Zwinderman, PhD26; Cornelis J. Punt, MD, PhD27; Geertjan van Tienhoven, MD, PhD1; and Casper H. J. van Eijck, MD, PhD2; for the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group
Source: DOI: 10.1200/JCO.21.02233 Journal of Clinical Oncology 40, no. 11 (April 10, 2022) 1220-1230.
Lucio Gordan MD

Dr. Gordan's Thoughts

Very interesting study which gives more support for preoperatory therapy in the setting of borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. The use of neodjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy will likely increase overtime, as systemic options improve, even in pancreatic cancer. Optimal regimen is unknown as studies with other options such as Folfirinox, gemcitabine/albumin-bound paclitaxel are needed, post chemoradiotherapy.

PURPOSE

The benefit of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer remains controversial. Initial results of the PREOPANC trial failed to demonstrate a statistically significant overall survival (OS) benefit. The long-term results are reported.

METHODS

In this multicenter, phase III trial, patients with resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer were randomly assigned (1:1) to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy or upfront surgery in 16 Dutch centers. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy consisted of three cycles of gemcitabine combined with 36 Gy radiotherapy in 15 fractions during the second cycle. After restaging, patients underwent surgery followed by four cycles of adjuvant gemcitabine. Patients in the upfront surgery group underwent surgery followed by six cycles of adjuvant gemcitabine. The primary outcome was OS by intention-to-treat. No safety data were collected beyond the initial report of the trial.

RESULTS

Between April 24, 2013, and July 25, 2017, 246 eligible patients were randomly assigned to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (n = 119) and upfront surgery (n = 127). At a median follow-up of 59 months, the OS was better in the neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy group than in the upfront surgery group (hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.96; P = .025). Although the difference in median survival was only 1.4 months (15.7 months v 14.3 months), the 5-year OS rate was 20.5% (95% CI, 14.2 to 29.8) with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and 6.5% (95% CI, 3.1 to 13.7) with upfront surgery. The effect of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy was consistent across the prespecified subgroups, including resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.

CONCLUSION

Neoadjuvant gemcitabine-based chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery and adjuvant gemcitabine improves OS compared with upfront surgery and adjuvant gemcitabine in resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.

Author Affiliations

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 2Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 3Clinical Research Department, Comprehensive Cancer Organisation the Netherlands (IKNL) Nijmegen, the Netherlands 4Department of Surgery, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 5Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands 6Department of Radiation Oncology (MAASTRO), GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands 7Department of Medical Oncology, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands 8Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands 9Department of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany 10GROW – School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, the Netherlands 11Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 12Department of Surgery, OLVG, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 13Department of Medical Oncology, Isala Oncology Center, Zwolle, the Netherlands 14Department of Surgery, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands 15Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 16Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands 17Department of Medical Oncology, OLVG, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 18Department of Medical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands 19Department of Radiation Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands 20Department of Radiation Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 21Department of Radiation Oncology, Isala Oncology Center, Zwolle, the Netherlands 22Department of Surgery, Isala Oncology Center, Zwolle, the Netherlands 23Department of Radiation Oncology, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands 24Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, GROW—School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht, the Netherlands 25Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 26Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 27Department of Epidemiology, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

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