Fluorouracil, Gemcitabine, and Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Cancer of the Pancreas

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IIITreatmentCompleted18 and overNCI, OtherRTOG-9704
CDR0000066076, E-R9704, SWOG-R9704, NCT00003216

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Drugs used in chemotherapy use different ways to stop tumor cells from dividing so they stop growing or die. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to damage tumor cells. Combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy may kill more tumor cells. It is not yet known which treatment regimen is most effective for pancreatic cancer.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to compare the effectiveness of fluorouracil and gemcitabine plus radiation therapy in treating patients with cancer of the pancreas who have undergone surgery.

Further Study Information


  • Compare the overall and disease-free survival of patients with resected adenocarcinoma of the pancreas treated with adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy preceded and followed by fluorouracil vs gemcitabine.
  • Compare the local-regional and distant disease control in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the acute and late toxic effects of these regimens in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to nodal involvement (yes vs no), tumor diameter (less than 3 cm vs 3 cm or greater), and surgical margins (negative vs positive vs unknown). Patients are randomized to one of two treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Beginning 3-8 weeks after definitive surgical resection, patients receive fluorouracil IV continuously for 3 weeks. Beginning 1-2 weeks later, patients receive fluorouracil IV continuously concurrently with radiotherapy 5 days a week for 5.5 weeks. Beginning 3-5 weeks after completion of chemoradiotherapy, patients receive fluorouracil IV continuously for 4 weeks every 6 weeks for 2 courses.
  • Arm II: Beginning 3-8 weeks after definitive surgical resection, patients receive gemcitabine IV once weekly for 3 weeks. Beginning 1-2 weeks later, patients receive chemoradiotherapy as in arm I. Beginning 3-5 weeks after completion of chemoradiotherapy, patients receive gemcitabine IV once weekly for 3 weeks every 4 weeks for 3 courses.

Patients are followed every 3 months for 1 year, every 6 months for 2 years, and then annually thereafter.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 518 patients will be accrued for this study within 8.6 years.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas
  • Stage T1-4, N0-1 (stage I-IVA)
  • No M1 or NX staging
  • Primary tumor of the pancreas (pancreatic head, neck, uncinate process, or body/tail) and maximum diameter/dimension and tumor status at surgical margin known
  • Prior potentially curative gross resection within 3-8 weeks before study
  • No non-adenocarcinomas, adenosquamous carcinomas, islet cell carcinomas, cystadenomas, cystadenocarcinomas, carcinoid tumors, duodenal carcinomas, distal bile duct carcinoma, or ampullary carcinoma
  • No recurrent disease
  • Post-resection CA-19-9 level required



  • 18 and over

Performance status:

  • Karnofsky 60-100%

Life expectancy:

  • Not specified


  • WBC at least 3,000/mm^3
  • Platelet count at least 100,000/mm^3


  • Bilirubin no greater than 1.5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • SGOT no greater than 5 times ULN


  • Creatinine no greater than 1.5 times ULN


  • No significant nausea or vomiting
  • No prior malignancy within the past 5 years except nonmelanomatous skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix
  • Able to maintain adequate nutrition (at least 1,500 calories/day)
  • Feeding tube allowed
  • Not pregnant
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception


Biologic therapy:

  • Not specified


  • No prior chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy:

  • Not specified


  • No prior radiotherapy


  • See Disease Characteristics

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

  • National Cancer Institute
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
  • Southwest Oncology Group
William F. Regine, Study Chair
Al Bowen Benson, Study Chair
John S. MacDonald, Study Chair

Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.
NLM Identifier NCT00003216
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on April 09, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the ClinicalTrials.gov database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the ClinicalTrials.gov record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. Cancer.gov only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas ClinicalTrials.gov lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to ClinicalTrials.gov.