Surgical resection remains the only treatment that offers a potential chance of long-term survival. Unfortunately, about 80% of patients treated with curative intent will develop recurrence. Since 2001, adjuvant therapy with gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracyle was recommended. This approach allows a median overall survival (OS) of around 23 months, and 5-year survival of 22%. In recent years, two phase-3 trials investigating new chemotherapy regimens resulted in considerably improved survival times. The doublet gemcitabine–capecitabine has shown improvement in OS from 25.5 to 28 months (p = 0.032) compared to gemcitabine, in the ESPAC-4 trial. Later, preliminary results of PRODIGE 24 trial presented at the 2018 ASCO meeting showed a superiority of a combination chemotherapy regimen with fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFIRINOX) when compared to gemcitabine alone, both in terms of median disease-free survival (21.6 vs. 12.8 months, p < 0.0001) and OS (54.4 vs. 35 months, p = 0.003). Contrary to chemotherapy, the role of adjuvant radiotherapy is still controversial, even in the case of R1 surgery. A randomized trial exploring the role of chemoradiotherapy in this setting is now ongoing in the US (RTOG-0848). Overall, the management of localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma is evolving. In this review, we summarize the current status and the most up-to-date developments in adjuvant treatment.
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