Patient-Reported Quality of Life Before and After Chemoradiation for Intact Pancreas Cancer: A Prospective Registry Study

William G. Breen, Krishan R. Jethwa, Nathan Y. Yu, Grant M. Spears, William S. Harmsen, Robert C. Miller, Jonathan B. Ashman, William G. Rule, Terence T. Sio, Michelle A. Neben-Wittich, Michael G. Haddock, Amit Mahipal, Mark J. Truty, Christopher L. Hallemeier, Kenneth W. Merrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Our purpose was to determine the effect of chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on patient-reported quality of life (QOL) for patients with intact pancreas cancer. Methods and Materials: We reviewed a prospective QOL registry for patients with intact, clinically localized pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma treated with CRT between June 2015 and November 2018. QOL was assessed pre-CRT (immediately before CRT, after neoadjuvant chemotherapy) and at the completion of CRT with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Hepatobiliary (FACT-Hep) and its component parts: FACT-General (FACT-G) and hepatobiliary cancer subscore (HCS). A minimally important difference from pre-CRT was defined as ≥ 6, 5, and 8 points for FACT-G, HCS, and FACT-Hep, respectively. Results: Of 157 patients who underwent CRT, 100 completed both pre- and post-CRT surveys and were included in the primary analysis. Median age at diagnosis was 65 years (range, 23-90). National Comprehensive Cancer Network resectability status was resectable (3%), borderline resectable (40%), or locally advanced (57%). Folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) (75%) or gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel (42%) were given for a median of 6 cycles (range, 0-42) before CRT. Radiation therapy techniques included 3-dimensional conformal (22%), intensity modulated photon (55%), and intensity modulated proton (23%) radiation therapy to a median dose of 50 Gy (range, 36-62.5). Concurrent chemotherapy was most commonly capecitabine (82%). Sixty-three patients (63%) had surgery after CRT. The mean decline in FACT-G, HCS subscale, and FACT-Hep from pre- to post-CRT was 3.5 (standard deviation [SD], 13.7), 1.7 (SD 7.8), and 5.2 (SD 19.4), respectively. Each of these changes were statistically significant, but did not meet the minimally important difference threshold. Pancreatic head tumor location was associated with decline in FACT-Hep. Nausea was the toxicity with the greatest increase from pre- to post-CRT by both physician-assessment and patient-reported QOL. Conclusions: For patients with intact pancreatic adenocarcinoma, modern CRT is well tolerated with minimal decline in QOL during treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e63-e69
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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