• Radiologic Technology News

Pancreatic Cancer Outcomes Improved

Jan 25, 2016

According to research from the Mayo Clinic, adding radiation therapy to a regimen that includes chemotherapy and surgery reduces the likelihood of pancreatic cancer recurrence and offers better long-term outcomes.

“The role of radiation therapy in operable pancreatic cancer has been somewhat controversial,” said Christopher Hallemeier, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and author of the new study, in a news release. “There have been some studies that have shown a benefit and some studies that have not shown a benefit. Our large study suggests that adding radiation treatment in combination with surgery and chemotherapy reduces the rate of cancer recurrence.”

Researchers examined 458 patients who had pancreatic cancer surgery between March 1987 and January 2011. Of those patients, 378 received chemotherapy and radiation therapy after surgery, and 80 had only chemotherapy after their operations.

Eighty percent of those who received chemotherapy and radiation after surgery had no recurrence of cancer within the area targeted by the radiation, the tumor bed and lymph nodes, within five years after diagnosis. That compared with 68 percent of those who had chemotherapy only following their operations. Patients who received radiotherapy also had longer survival times.

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