Radiotherapy of pancreatic cancer in older patients: A systematic review

Selena Ciabatti, Silvia Cammelli, Rezarta Frakulli, Alessandra Arcelli, Gabriella Macchia, Francesco Deodato, Savino Cilla, Lucia Giaccherini, Milly Buwenge, Alessio G. Morganti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pancreatic cancer (PaC) will soon be one of the main causes of cancer mortality. Furthermore, its incidence is higher in the older population and radiotherapy (RT) represents a treatment option. The aim of this review was to evaluate feasibility and outcome of RT in older patients with PaC. A systematic literature review of patients aged ≥65 years with PaC treated with RT was performed using the PRISMA methodology. Eleven papers (1830 patients) fulfilled our inclusion criteria and were analyzed. RT was prescribed either alone or as an adjuvant treatment. Prescribed RT dose ranged from 22.0 to 70.0 Gy with conventional fractionation or hypo-fractionated schedule and delivered by three-dimensional conformal RT, intensity modulated RT or stereotactic body RT. Grade ≥ 3 acute and grade ≥ 2 late toxicity rates ranged between 0.0% and 52.6% (median: 0.5%) and between 0.0% and 15.0% (median: 0%), respectively. Median overall survival and two-year survival rate were 11.3 months (range: 6.4–69.0 months) and 49.0% (range 6.6–75.5%), respectively. RT in older patients seems to be tolerable and safe particularly in terms of late toxicity irrespective of the treatment settings. Therefore, RT can represent a treatment option in PaC even in an older population. Further analyses and prospective trials enrolling older patients are needed to better define the risk/benefit ratio in different treatment settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Older
  • Pancreatic neoplasms
  • Radiotherapy
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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