, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 946-949

Intraarterial Adjuvant Chemotherapy after Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Pancreatic Cancer: Significant Reduction in Occurrence of Liver Metastasis

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The clinical benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients is still questionable. Phase II studies using radiochemotherapy based on 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) provided evidence of an increase in median survival times. Because palliative chemotherapy by celiac artery infusion (CAI) led to an increase in survival in pancreatic cancer, we treated 24 patients with adjuvant CAI following resection of the head of the pancreas for pancreatic cancer (21 patients with Union Internationale contre le Cancer (UICC) stage III, 2 with UICC stage II, 1 with UICC stage I). Catheters were placed angiographically into the celiac artery and remained there for 5 consecutive days. One cycle of chemotherapy consisted of mitoxantrone, 5-FU, folinic acid, and cisplatinum. This treatment was repeated five times at monthly intervals. CAI was well tolerated, and World Health Organization (WHO) grade III toxicities were observed in 8%; WHO grade IV was seen in none of the treatment cycles. Furthermore, we observed pain reduction in nearly all patients under CAI. Median survival times in patients who received CAI were 23 months for all patients, whereas in patients who did not receive adjuvant treatment the median survival was 10.5 months. With Kaplan-Meier regression analysis of the patients who were curatively resected (R0 resection) and received CAI, the overall 4-year survival was 54%, whereas in patients without CAI the 4-year survival was 9.5%. The occurrence of liver metastases in the CAI group went down to 17%. These results demonstrate that CAI is well tolerated, reduces the risk of liver metastasis, and increases the survival time of pancreatic cancer patients.