Continuous Transarterial Infusion Chemotherapy with Gemcitabine and 5-Fluorouracil for Advanced Pancreatic Carcinoma


Purpose: Pancreatic carcinoma is one of the most malignant tumors of the alimentary system, with relativelyhigh incidence rates. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of two regimens for advancedpancreatic carcinoma: continuous transarterial infusion versus systemic venous chemotherapy with gemcitabineand 5-fluorouracil.
Methods: Of the 48 patients with advanced pancreatic carcinoma receiving chemotherapy withgemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil, 24 received the selective transarterial infusion, and 24 the systemic chemotherapy.For the continuous transarterial infusion group (experimental group), all patients received gemcitabine 1000mg/m2,given by 30-minute transarterial infusion, on day 1 of a 4-week cycle for 2 cycles, and a dose of 600 mg/m2 5-fluorouracil was infused on days 1~5 of a 4-week cycle for 2 cycles. For the systemic venous group (controlgroup), gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil were infused through a peripheral vein, a dose of 1000 mg/m2 gemcitabinebeing administrated over 30 min on days 1 and 8 of a 4-week cycle for 2 cycles, and a dose of 600 mg/m25-fluorouracil was infused on days 1~5 of a 4-week cycle for 2 cycles. The effectiveness and safety were evaluatedafter 2 cyclesaccording to WHO criteria.
Results:The objective effective rate in transarterial group was 33.3%versus 25% in the systemic group, the difference not being significant (P=0.626). Clinical benefit rates(CBR) inthe transarterial and systemic groups were 83.3% and 58.3%, respectively (P=0.014). The means and mediansfor survival time in transarterial group were higher than those of the systemic group (P < 0.005). at the sametime, the adverse effects did not significantly differ between the two groups (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Continuoustransarterial infusion chemotherapy with gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil could improve clinical benefit rate andsurvival time of patients with advanced pancreatic carcinoma, compared with systemic venous chemotherapy.Since adverse effects were limited in the transarterial group, the regimen of continuous transarterial infusionchemotherapy can be used more extensively in clinical practice. A CT and MRI conventional sequence can beused for efficacy evaluation after chemotherapy in pancreatic carcinoma.