Surgical palliation combined with synchronous therapy in pancreatic carcinoma

P. J. Kahn, Y. Skornick, M. Inbar, O. Kaplan, S. Chaichik, R. Rozin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Palliative surgery has a role in nonresectable pancreatic carcinoma. We attempted to evaluate the efficacy of palliative surgery followed by synchronous therapy in such cases. A group of 92 patients was studied. Sixty-six patients (Group 1) with biliary obstruction underwent surgical biliary bypass. Twenty-six patients (Group 2) underwent explorative laparotomy only. Thirty patients (45.5%) in Group 1 and 10 patients (38.5%) in Group 2 received synchronous therapy consisting of 10 intravenous administrations of 5-fluorouracil (750 mg/m2) over 8 h, followed 8 h later by radiation with 400 rads repeated every 4 days. The mean survival for the entire group was 8.9 months. Those in Group 1 who received synchronous therapy had a mean survival of 13.5 months; those who did not 8.9 months (P < 0.01). Patients in Group 2 who received synchronous therapy survived with a mean of 5.4 months, those who did not 2.7 months (P < 0.01). Toxicity due to synchronous therapy was minimal. Of the 40 patients receiving synchronous therapy, 37 suffered from abdominal pains prior to initiation of therapy, 29 of which (78.4%) were free of pain upon completion of therapy. In nonresectable carcinoma of the pancreas, surgical palliation provides an acceptable survival. When combined with synchronous therapy, it results in prolonged survival and an ameliorated quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Pancreatic carcinoma
  • palliative surgery
  • synchronous therapy


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