Gut Liver.  2021 May;15(3):466-475. 10.5009/gnl20070.

Comparison of Clinical Outcomes of Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer According to the Neoadjuvant Chemo-Regimens: Gemcitabine versus FOLFIRINOX

  • 1Department of Surgery and Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Departments of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Departments of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Departments of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Although many studies have reported the promising effect of neoadjuvant treatment for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer (BRPC) to increase resectability, only a few studies have recommended the use of first-line chemotherapeutic agents as neoadjuvant treatment for BRPC. The current study compared clinical outcomes between gemcitabine and FOLFIRINOX (5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan) in patients with BRPC.
In this single-center retrospective study, 100 BRPC patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and resection from 2008 to 2018 were reviewed. Clinical outcomes included overall survival, resectability, and recurrence patterns after gemcitabine or FOLFIRINOX treatment.
For neoadjuvant chemotherapy, gemcitabine was administered to 34 patients and FOLFIRINOX to 66. Neoadjuvant radiotherapy was administered to 27 patients (79.4%) treated with gemcitabine and 19 (28.8%) treated with FOLFIRINOX (p<0.001). The 2- and 5-year survival rates (YSRs) were significantly higher after FOLFIRINOX (2YSR, 72.2%; 5YSR, 46.0%) than after gemcitabine (2YSR, 58.4%; 5YSR, 19.1%; p=0.041). The margin negative rate was comparable (gemcitabine, 94.1%; FOLFIRINOX, 92.4%; p=0.753), and the tumor size change in percentage showed only a marginal difference (gemcitabine, 20.5%; FOLFIRINOX, 29.0%; p=0.069). Notably, the metastatic recurrence rate was significantly lower in the FOLFIRINOX group (n=20, 52.6%) than in the gemcitabine group (n=22, 78.6%; p=0.001). The rate of adverse events after chemotherapy was significantly higher with FOLFIRINOX than with gemcitabine (43.9%, 20.6%, respectively; p=0.037).
FOLFIRINOX provided more clinical and oncological benefit than gemcitabine, with significantly higher overall survival and lower cumulative recurrence rates in BRPC. However, since FOLFIRINOX causes more adverse effects, the regimen should be individualized based on patient’s general condition and clinical status.


Pancreatic neoplasms; Neoadjuvant therapy
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