Methods/design: The PREOPANC trial is a randomized, controlled, multicentric superiority trial, initiated by the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group. Patients with (borderline) resectable pancreatic cancer are randomized to A: direct explorative laparotomy or B: after negative diagnostic laparoscopy, preoperative radiochemotherapy, followed by explorative laparotomy. A hypofractionated radiation scheme of 15 fractions of 2.4 gray (Gy) is combined with a course of gemcitabine, 1,000 mg/m2/dose on days 1, 8 and 15, preceded and followed by a modified course of gemcitabine. The target volumes of radiation are delineated on a 4D CT scan, where at least 95 % of the prescribed dose of 36 Gy in 15 fractions should cover 98 % of the planning target volume. Standard adjuvant chemotherapy is administered in both treatment arms after resection (six cycles in arm A and four in arm B). In total, 244 patients will be randomized in 17 hospitals in the Netherlands. The primary endpoint is overall survival by intention to treat. Secondary endpoints are (R0) resection rate, disease-free survival, time to locoregional recurrence or distant metastases and perioperative complications. Secondary endpoints for the experimental arm are toxicity and radiologic and pathologic response.
Discussion: The PREOPANC trial is designed to investigate whether preoperative radiochemotherapy improves overall survival by means of increased (R0) resection rates in patients with resectable or borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.
- (Borderline) resectable pancreatic cancer
- Preoperative radiochemotherapy
- Explorative laparotomy
- Overall survival
- Intention to treat