A/Professor David Goldstein (NSW), Dr Sean Bydder (WA), Dr Jennifer Harvey (QLD), Dr Sudarshan (Sid) Selva-Nayaram (SA), Dr Craig Underhill (VIC)
Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is regarded by many as the most
lethal of all adult cancers. Although it is the 12th most common cancer
in Australia, as a cause of cancer death its ranking rises to 5th.
with pancreatic cancer often live for less than 12 months after their
diagnosis. Tumours can only be removed by radical surgery if they are
localised to the pancreas when they are first diagnosed and on average,
only 8% of patients have localised disease at presentation.
when the tumour is removed by surgery, there is a 50% chance that the
cancer will come back, although some cases are at a greater risk of
recurrence than others.
The use of chemotherapy and
radiotherapy with surgery appears to improve survival for these
patients. For the remaining patients whose cancers cannot be removed by
surgery, the identification of an effective non-surgical treatment that
can achieve durable symptom control remains a high priority. There is
currently no optimum treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent
Radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy has
been show to improve survival time significantly but newer approaches
to treatment are still needed. This study will provide additional
answers about the role of radiotherapy in combination with
chemotherapy. This trial will also provide information about the
combination of two different chemotherapy drugs, Gemcitabine and
Patients who take part in this study will receive
chemotherapy treatment, followed by radiotherapy during which another
kind of chemotherapy drug, flurouracil, will be given. After
radiotherapy, more chemotherapy will be given.
of this study are to assess whether this combination of chemotherapy
and radiotherapy can be given without too many undesirable side-effects
(i.e. that these treatments are feasible), shrink the cancer (tumour)
or slow its growth and maybe help patients feel better.