Abstract Purpose: To assess the palliative benefit of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and radiotherapy in patients with surgically unresectable localized pancreatic cancer. Methods and Materials: Twenty-five patients with locally advanced surgically unresectable symptomatic pancreatic cancer received 5-FU chemotherapy and local radiation therapy. They were retrospectively reviewed in regard to their clinical benefit response (a composite of measurement of pain assessment, weight, and Karnofsky performance status [KPS]), as well as radiological response, time to progression, and overall survival. Results: Median survival for the 25 patients was 9 months and median progression-free survival was 6 months. Thirty-two percent of patients survived in excess of 1 year. Analgesic requirements increased >50% in 2 patients and KPS deteriorated in 10 patients. Of the 13 remaining patients, 2 sustained a >7% weight loss and 2 gained weight post-treatment. Six patients improved in one parameter of analgesic consumption, weight loss or KPS without deteriorating in any others. Thus, the clinical benefit response index for 5-FU–radiation was 6/25 (24%). In terms of tumor response, 8 patients (44%) demonstrated a reduction in tumor volume post-treatment, 4 of whom (22%) experienced a >50% reduction. Four additional patients had radiologically stable disease. Conclusion: In this retrospective analysis, the clinical benefit response index for 5-FU–radiation was 24%, a value similar to the 23.8% reported for single agent gemcitabine. The median survival of 7 months was also similar to the 5.65 months reported for gemcitabine. The radiological partial response rate of 22% and the 1-year survival of 32% were higher for 5-FU–radiation than the reported values for gemcitabine. A randomized trial would be necessary to compare 5-FU–radiation to gemcitabine directly; however, from this review it did not appear that the overall palliative benefit of 5-FU–radiation was inferior to gemcitabine.