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Table 8. Randomized Studies in Stage III Pancreatic Cancer: Median Survival

Trial Regimen Chemoradiation Radiation Alone Chemotherapy Alone P Value 
5-FU = 5-fluorouracil; ECOG = Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; FFCD = Fédération Francophone de Cancérologie Digestive; GEM = gemcitabine; GITSG = Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group; Gy = gray (unit of absorbed radiation of ionizing radiation); P value = probability value; XRT = x-ray or radiation therapy.
GITSG [5]Radiation alone vs. 5-FU/60 Gy XRT40 weeks20 weeks<.01
ECOG [6]Radiation vs. 5-FU, mitomycin C/59 Gy XRT8.4 months7.1 months.16
FFCD [7]GEM vs. GEM, cisplatin, 60 Gy XRT8.6 months13 months.03
ECOG [8]GEM vs. GEM/50.4 Gy XRT11.1 months9.2 months.017


  1. A multi-institutional comparative trial of radiation therapy alone and in combination with 5-fluorouracil for locally unresectable pancreatic carcinoma. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group. Ann Surg 189 (2): 205-8, 1979.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Cohen SJ, Dobelbower R Jr, Lipsitz S, et al.: A randomized phase III study of radiotherapy alone or with 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin-C in patients with locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the pancreas: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study E8282. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 62 (5): 1345-50, 2005.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Chauffert B, Mornex F, Bonnetain F, et al.: Phase III trial comparing initial chemoradiotherapy (intermittent cisplatin and infusional 5-FU) followed by gemcitabine vs. gemcitabine alone in patients with locally advanced non metastatic pancreatic cancer: a FFCD-SFRO study. [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 24 (Suppl 18): A-4008, 180s, 2006. 

  4. Loehrer PJ Sr, Feng Y, Cardenes H, et al.: Gemcitabine alone versus gemcitabine plus radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer: an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group trial. J Clin Oncol 29 (31): 4105-12, 2011.  [PUBMED Abstract]