Resectable Distal Pancreas Cancer: Time to Reconsider the Role of Upfront Surgery.

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Annals of surgical oncology : the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology


BACKGROUND: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is increasingly utilized to optimize survival in proximal pancreatic adenocarcinoma. However, few studies have explored the impact of NAC in distal pancreas cancer.

METHODS: Patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma of the body or tail treated with either upfront pancreatectomy or NAC followed by surgery were identified in the 2006-2014 National Cancer Database. Trends in utilization, predictors of use, and impact of NAC on overall survival were determined.

RESULTS: Of 1485 patients, 176 (11.9%) received NAC. Use of NAC increased from 9.3% in 2006 to 16.9% in 2013 [odds ratio 1.14; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.24; p = 0.001]. NAC patients were younger, had higher clinical stage, and preoperative CA 19-9 levels (all p < 0.05). After adjustment for patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors, increased clinical stage was the greatest independent predictor of neoadjuvant approach (p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, survival benefit from NAC did not reach threshold of significance (95% CI 0.66-1.04; p = 0.10) for the entire cohort. However, NAC was associated with a significant survival advantage in clinical stage III with a 51% decreased yearly risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio 0.49; 95% CI 0.25-0.98; p = 0.04). A trend towards improved survival with NAC was observed among stage IIA (p = 0.09) and IIB (p = 0.07) patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improved overall survival in Stage III distal pancreatic adenocarcinoma and shows promise in earlier stage disease. However, only a small percentage of patients receive NAC. Prospective evaluation of NAC in distal pancreatic adenocarcinoma is warranted based on these findings.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Digestive Health