Surgery followed by 12 courses of FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy is the standard treatment for patients with resectable pancreatic cancer in the Netherlands. A recently published randomized trial showed that survival was much better when patients received FOLFIRINOX instead of gemcitabine after tumor removal.
However, after surgery, half of the patients do not receive chemotherapy due to postoperative complications, deterioration of the condition, or early recurrence of the cancer. Chemotherapy before surgery can treat small invisible metastases early, save patients with a rapidly spreading cancer a futile operation and increase the chance of complete removal of the cancer.
The study investigates whether giving FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy before surgery improves survival compared to giving FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy after surgery.
We expect that treatment with FOLFIRINOX before surgery will improve survival for patients with resectable pancreatic cancer. With FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy before surgery, all patients receive chemotherapy compared to only half in the current situation. On the other hand, the results of FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy after surgery are also good. We want to do the PREOPANC-3 study because we don’t know which treatment is better.