These guidelines review the use of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery in borderline and unresectable pancreas cancer. Radiation technique, dose, and targets were evaluated, as was the recommended chemotherapy, administered either alone or concurrently with radiation. This report will aid clinicians in determining guidelines for the optimal treatment of borderline and unresectable pancreatic cancer.
Joseph M. Herman, MD, MSc
For resectable gastric cancer, perioperative chemotherapy or adjuvant chemoradiation with chemotherapy are standards of care. The decision making for adjuvant therapeutic management can depend on the stage of the cancer, lymph node positivity, and extent of surgical resection.
The management of rectal cancer in patients with metastatic disease at presentation is highly variable. Although chemoradiation is standard for patients with stage II/III rectal cancer, its role in the metastatic setting is controversial.
Primary surgery with an abdominoperineal resection (APR) was historically the standard of care for localized anal squamous cell carcinoma. APR achieved 40%-70% survival rates at five years, with local failures from 27%-47%.[1,2] With modern technology and radiation dose escalation, external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) studies have improved complete response rates, decreased morbidity, and improved sphincter preservation rates. Nigro et al added 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and mitomycin C (MMC) to concurrent EBRT [3,4] and impressive complete response rates inspired other groups to investigate the role of chemotherapy as a component of sphincter-preserving therapy. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and United Kingdom Coordinating Committee on Cancer Research (UKCCCR) studies reported improved local control and colostomy-free survival when chemotherapy (5FU/MMC) was administered in conjunction with radiation.[5,6] The five-year survival rate for patients receiving standard chemoradiation approaches 70%; however, 20%-40% experience grade 3-4 toxicity, and administration with MMC causes profound hematologic toxicity.