Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Feb 14;109(2):458-463. Epub 2020 Sep 14.
Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. Electronic address:
Purpose: The role of neoadjuvant radiation for resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma is controversial. We performed a prospective dose-escalation study of neoadjuvant stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with concurrent capecitabine and elective nodal irradiation (ENI) followed by surgical resection to explore the toxicity and feasibility of this approach.
Methods And Materials: Patients with biopsy proven, resectable cancers of the pancreatic head were enrolled. A 4 + 4 dose-escalation design was employed delivering 5 fractions of 5 to 7 Gy to primary tumor with concurrent capecitabine. The maximum tolerated dose level was expanded for an additional 4 patients. Patients at all dose levels were treated with ENI delivering 25 Gy in 5 fractions. Dose-limiting toxicity was defined as any grade ≥3 nonhematologic toxicity (National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v4.0) attributable to chemoradiation occurring within 90 days of SBRT.
Results: A total of 17 patients were enrolled with 16 patients evaluable and 13 patients ultimately proceeding to surgery. The most common toxicity was nausea (56%). There were no dose-limiting toxicities, and SBRT was maximally dose escalated to 35 Gy in 5 fractions for 8 patients. All patients completing surgery had R0 resections. Seven patients (54%) had moderate treatment effect identified in pathologic specimens. Three patients (23%) developed locoregional recurrences, with 2 (15%) partially included within the treated volume.
Conclusions: SBRT was safely dose escalated to 35 Gy in 5 fractions along with concurrent capecitabine and ENI. This regimen will be used in a future expansion cohort.