Adjuvant Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer

  • Charu Sharma Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
  • David Horowitz Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
  • John Chabot Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
  • Muhammad Wasif Saif Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
Keywords: Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Combined Modality Therapy, Deoxycytidine Kinase, gemcitabine, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Radiotherapy, RRM1 protein, human, S100A2 protein, SLC29A1 protein


Strong evidence exists for the use of adjuvant chemotherapy following surgical resection in pancreatic cancer, whereas the role of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy remains controversial. The optimal time to initiate adjuvant therapy has yet to be elucidated, but is usually started 2-10 weeks following resection. First line adjuvant chemotherapy is gemcitabine, as this drug has demonstrated the better efficacy in studies. Other chemotherapeutic agents and gemcitabine in combination with biologic agents are under investigation. Furthermore, predicting response to gemcitabine based chemotherapy and other adjuvant therapies will be invaluable in guiding the practitioner to choose the most appropriate adjuvant treatment. Once adjuvant therapy has been started, accurately quantifying response to therapy is also important. The adjuvant regimen may be appropriately modified if response is inadequate. This review is an update from the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting regarding recent developments in the adjuvant treatment of pancreatic cancer with regards to choice of adjuvant regimen, timing of adjuvant therapy, predicting response to therapy and measuring response to adjuvant therapy. We will present the findings from Abstracts #4039, #4042, #e14519, #4118, and #4024. In conclusion, multiple adjuvant therapeutic regimens are associated with incremental improvements in the management of pancreatic cancer. The timing of initiation of adjuvant therapy appears to be important in outcomes. Research is ongoing into markers that can predict response to adjuvant therapy.

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How to Cite
SharmaC., HorowitzD., ChabotJ., & SaifM. (2011). Adjuvant Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer. JOP. Journal of the Pancreas, 12(4), 343-346.
Highlights from the “2011 ASCO Annual Meeting”. Chicago, IL, USA. June 3-7, 2011