• Chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer: a radiotherapy dose escalation and organ motion study.

      Henry, Ann M; Ryder, W David J; Moore, Christopher J; Sherlock, David J; Geh, J I; Dunn, P; Price, Patricia M; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Manchester, Department of Medical Statistics, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK. (2008-09)
      AIMS: To determine the efficacy of radiation dose escalation and to examine organ motion during conformal radiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-nine patients who were consecutively treated with chemoradiotherapy were studied. Fifteen patients, treated from 1993 to 1997, received 50 Gy in 20 fractions (group I). Twenty-four patients, treated from 1997 to 2003, received an escalated dose of 55 Gy in 25 fractions (group II). Intra-fraction pancreatic tumour motion was assessed in three patients using megavoltage movies during radiation delivery to track implanted radio-opaque markers. RESULTS: Improved survival rates were seen in latterly treated group II patients (P=0.083), who received escalated radiotherapy to smaller treatment volumes due to advances in verification. Worse toxicity effects (World Health Organization grade 3-4) were reported by some patients (<10%), but treatment compliance was similar in both groups, indicating equivalent tolerance. Substantial intra-fraction tumour displacement due to respiratory motion was observed: this was greatest in the superior/inferior (mean=6.6 mm) and anterior/posterior (mean=4.75 mm) directions. Lateral displacements were small (<2 mm). CONCLUSIONS: Dose escalation is feasible in pancreatic cancer, particularly when combined with a reduction in irradiated volume, and enhanced efficacy is indicated. Large, globally applied margins to compensate for pancreatic tumour motion during radiotherapy may be inappropriate. Strategies to reduce respiratory motion, and/or the application of image-guided techniques that incorporate individual patients' respiratory motion into radiotherapy planning and delivery, will probably improve pancreatic radiotherapy.