Aim: To evaluate the chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer utilizing low dose gemcitabine as a radiation sensitizer administered twice weekly. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of chemoradiotherapy utilizing gemcitabine administered twice weekly at a dose of 40 mg/m2. After that, maintenance systemic chemotherapy with gemcitabine, at a dose of 1000 mg/m2, was administered weekly for 3 wk with 1-wk rest until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity developed. Results: Eighteen patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer were enrolled. Three of those patients could not continue with the therapy; one patient had interstitial pneumonia during radiation therapy and two other patients showed liver metastasis or peritoneal metastasis during an early stage of the therapy. The median survival was 15.0 mo and the overall 1-year survival rate was 60%, while the median progression-free survival was 8.0 mo. The subgroup which showed the reduction of tumor development, more than 50% showed a tendency for a better prognosis; however, other parameters including age, gender and performance status did not correlate with survival. The median survival of the groups that died of liver metastasis and peritoneal metastasis were 13.0 mo and 27.7 mo, respectively. Conclusion: Chemoradiotherapy with low-dose gemcitabine administered twice weekly could be effective to patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer; however, patients developing liver metastases had a worse prognosis. Another chemoradiotherapy strategy might be needed for those patients, such as administrating one or two cycles of chemotherapy initially, followed by chemoradiotherapy for the cases with no distant metastases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes