The experience of neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus upfront surgery in resectable pancreatic cancer: a cross sectional study

Yung Yeh Su, Ying Jui Chao, Chih Jung Wang, Ting Kai Liao, Ping Jui Su, Chien Jui Huang, Nai Jung Chiang, Yu Ting Yu, Hong Ming Tsai, Li Tzong Chen, Yan Shen Shan

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BACKGROUND: Upfront resection (UR) followed by adjuvant chemotherapy remains the standard treatment for resectable pancreatic cancer. There is increasing evidence suggesting favourable outcomes toward neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) followed by surgery. METHODS: All clinical staging with resectable pancreatic cancer patients treated at a tertiary medical centre from 2013 to 2020 were identified. The baseline characteristics, treatment course, surgery outcome and survival results of UR or NAC were compared. RESULTS: Finally, in 159 resectable patients, 46 patients (29%) underwent NAC and 113 patients (71%) received UR. In NAC, 11 patients (24%) did not receive resection, 4 (36.4%) for comorbidity, 2 (18.2%) for patient refusal and 2 (18.2%) for disease progression. In UR, 13 patients (12%) were unresectable intraoperatively; 6 (46.2%) for locally advanced and 5 (38.5%) for distant metastasis. Overall, 97% of patients in NAC and 58% of patients in UR completed adjuvant chemotherapy. As of data cut-off, 24 patients (69%) in NAC and 42 patients (29%) in UR were still tumour free. The median recurrence-free survival in NAC, UR with adjuvant chemotherapy and without adjuvant chemotherapy were 31.3 months (95% CI, 14.4-not estimable), 10.6 months (95% CI, 9.0-14.3) and 8.5 months (95% CI, 5.8-11.8), P =0.036; and the median overall survival in each group were not reached (95% CI, 29.7-not estimable), 25.9 months (95% CI, 21.1-40.5) and 21.7 months (12.0-32.8), P =0.0053. Based on initial clinical staging, the median overall survival of NAC was not significantly different from UR with a tumour less than or equal to 2 cm, P =0.29. NAC patients had a higher R0 resection rate (83% versus 53%), lower recurrence rate (31% versus 71%) and harvested median number lymph node (23 versus 15). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that NAC is superior to UR in resectable pancreatic cancer with better survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2614-2623
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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