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Knaebel, H. P.; Marten, A.; Schmidt, J.; Hoffmann, K.; Seiler, C.; Lindel, K.; Schmitz-Winnenthal, H.; Fritz, S.; Herrmann, T.; Goldschmidt, H.; Mansmann, U.; Debus, J.; Diehl, V.; Buchler, M. W.: Phase III trial of postoperative cisplatin, interferon alpha-2b, and 5-FU combined with external radiation treatment versus 5-FU alone for patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma CapRI: study protocol [ISRCTN62866759]. In: BMC Cancer 2005, 5:37




After surgical intervention with curative intention in specialised centres the five-year survival of patients with carcinoma of the exocrine pancreas is only 15%. The ESPAC-1 trial showed an increased five-year survival of 21% achieved with adjuvant chemotherapy. Investigators from the Virginia Mason Clinic have reported a 5-year survival rate of 55% in a phase II trial evaluating adjuvant chemotherapy, immunotherapy and external-beam radiation. Design: The CapRI study is an open, controlled, prospective, randomised multi-centre phase III trial. Patients in study arm A will be treated as outpatients with 5-Fluorouracil; Cisplatin and 3 million units Interferon alpha-2b for 5 1/2 weeks combined with external beam radiation. After chemo-radiation the patients receive continuous 5-FU infusions for two more cycles. Patients in study arm B will be treated as outpatients with intravenous bolus injections of folinic acid, followed by intravenous bolus injections of 5-FU given on 5 consecutive days every 28 days for 6 cycles. A total of 110 patients with specimen-proven R0 or R1 resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma will be enrolled. An interim analysis for patient safety reasons will be done one year after start of recruitment. Evaluation of the primary endpoint will be performed two years after the last patients' enrolment. Discussion: The aim of this study is to evaluate the overall survival period attained by chemo-radiotherapy including interferon alpha 2b administration with adjuvant chemotherapy. The influence of interferon alpha on the effectiveness of the patients' chemoradiation regimen, the toxicity, the disease-free interval and the quality of life are analysed. Different factors are tested in terms of their potential role as predictive markers.