There is no clear consensus on what type of adjuvant therapy should be used for patients with pancreatic cancer. Chemoradiation is the favored treatment modality by many in the United States while gemcitabine based chemotherapy is favored in Europe. Both of these approaches have been shown by large prospective, randomized trials to improve disease free intervals and in some studies overall survival. This year at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium, the randomized phase III study presented by Uesaka et al. from Japan (Abstract #145) represents a newer paradigm of oral adjuvant S-1 chemotherapy in place of the traditional standard of care intravenous gemcitabine in terms of prolonging patients’ survival. Another study by Fan et al. (Abstract #269) examined the value of targeted therapy using erlotinib with adjuvant chemoradiation and chemotherapy. We present the summary of these two studies and discuss the potential impact on our clinical practice on this highly lethal cancer.
Muhammad Wasif Saif, Chakra P Chaulagain, John Ng, Martin D Goodman