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Use of 5-Fluorouracil in Chemoradiation Found Less Toxic Than New Gemcitabine Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Use of 5-Fluorouracil in Chemoradiation Found Less Toxic Than New Gemcitabine Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer
Results from the 43rd Annual American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology (ASTRO), November 2001
M. D. Anderson News Release  11/28/01

A new study comparing gemcitabine-based chemoradiation with 5-fluorouracil-based chemoradiation in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer shows a significantly lower toxicity rate for the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).

The study retrospectively analyzed 114 patients treated from 1996 to 2000 with localized inoperable pancreatic cancer, said Dr. Christopher Crane, assistant professor of radiation oncology at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Fifty-three of the patients had received gemcitabine in seven weekly cycles with concurrent radiotherapy. Sixty-one patients were given continuous infusion 5-fluorouracil with concurrent radiotherapy.

"The patients treated with gemcitabine had larger tumors and were significantly younger (median age of 60 versus 68)," Dr. Crane said.  "But despite the selection of healthier patients to receive gemcitabine, there was a significantly higher toxicity rate than with 5-fluorouracil."

This is the first comparative study of the current standard, 5-fluorouracil chemoradiation, with the new gemcitabine therapy, Dr. Crane said.

11/28/01


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center