Using adaptive magnetic resonance image-guided radiation therapy for treatment of inoperable pancreatic cancer

Soumon Rudra, Naomi Jiang, Stephen A. Rosenberg, Jeffrey R. Olsen, Michael C. Roach, Leping Wan, Lorraine Portelance, Eric A. Mellon, Anna Bruynzeel, Frank Lagerwaard, Michael F. Bassetti, Parag J. Parikh, Percy P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Background: Adaptive magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) can escalate dose to tumors while minimizing dose to normal tissue. We evaluated outcomes of inoperable pancreatic cancer patients treated using MRgRT with and without dose escalation. Methods: We reviewed 44 patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer treated with MRgRT. Treatments included conventional fractionation, hypofractionation, and stereotactic body radiation therapy. Patients were stratified into high-dose (biologically effective dose [BED10] >70) and standard-dose groups (BED10 ≤70). Overall survival (OS), freedom from local failure (FFLF) and freedom from distant failure (FFDF) were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression was performed to identify predictors of OS. Acute gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity was assessed for 6 weeks after completion of RT. Results: Median follow-up was 17 months. High-dose patients (n = 24, 55%) had statistically significant improvement in 2-year OS (49% vs 30%, P = 0.03) and trended towards significance for 2-year FFLF (77% vs 57%, P = 0.15) compared to standard-dose patients (n = 20, 45%). FFDF at 18 months in high-dose vs standard-dose groups was 24% vs 48%, respectively (P = 0.92). High-dose radiation (HR: 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.21-0.94; P = 0.03) and duration of induction chemotherapy (HR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.72-0.98; P = 0.03) were significantly correlated with OS on univariate analysis but neither factor was independently predictive on multivariate analysis. Grade 3+ GI toxicity occurred in three patients in the standard-dose group and did not occur in the high-dose group. Conclusions: Patients treated with dose-escalated MRgRT demonstrated improved OS. Prospective evaluation of high-dose RT regimens with standardized treatment parameters in inoperable pancreatic cancer patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2123-2132
Number of pages10
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • pancreatic cancer
  • radiation therapy


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