Proton Therapy for Unresectable and Medically Inoperable Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Results From a Multi-Institutional Prospective Registry.

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Advances in radiation oncology


PURPOSE: Compared with photon-based techniques, proton beam radiation therapy (PBT) may improve the therapeutic ratio of radiation therapy (RT) for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), but available data have been limited to single-institutional experiences. This study examined the toxicity, survival, and disease control rates among patients enrolled in a multi-institutional prospective registry study and treated with PBT for LAPC.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between March 2013 and November 2019, 19 patients with inoperable disease across 7 institutions underwent PBT with definitive intent for LAPC. Patients received a median radiation dose/fractionation of 54 Gy/30 fractions (range, 50.4-60.0 Gy/19-33 fractions). Most received prior (68.4%) or concurrent (78.9%) chemotherapy. Patients were assessed prospectively for toxicities using National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to analyze overall survival, locoregional recurrence-free survival, time to locoregional recurrence, distant metastasis-free survival, and time to new progression or metastasis for the adenocarcinoma cohort (17 patients).

RESULTS: No patients experienced grade ≥3 acute or chronic treatment-related adverse events. Grade 1 and 2 adverse events occurred in 78.7% and 21.3% of patients, respectively. Median overall survival, locoregional recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and time to new progression or metastasis were 14.6, 11.0, 11.0, and 13.9 months, respectively. Freedom from locoregional recurrence at 2 years was 81.7%. All patients completed treatment with one requiring a RT break for stent placement.

CONCLUSIONS: Proton beam RT for LAPC offered excellent tolerability while still maintaining disease control and survival rates comparable with dose-escalated photon-based RT. These findings are consistent with the known physical and dosimetric advantages offered by proton therapy, but the conclusions are limited owing to the patient sample size. Further clinical studies incorporating dose-escalated PBT are warranted to evaluate whether these dosimetric advantages translate into clinically meaningful benefits.





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