Effect of complications on oncologic outcomes after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer

J Surg Res. 2017 Jun 15;214:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2017.02.036. Epub 2017 Mar 18.


Background: Although adjuvant therapy (AT) is a necessary component of multimodality therapy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), its application can be hindered by post-pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) complications. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of post-PD complications on AT utilization and overall survival (OS).

Methods: Patients undergoing PD without neoadjuvant therapy for stages I-III PDAC at a single institution (2007-2015) were evaluated. Ninety-day postoperative major complications (PMCs) were defined as grade ≥3. Records were linked to the Kentucky Cancer Registry for AT/OS data. Early AT was given <8 wk; late 8-16 wk. Initiation >16 wk was not considered to be AT. Complication effects on AT timing/utilization and OS were evaluated.

Results: Of 93 consecutive patients treated with surgery upfront with AT data, 64 (69%) received AT (41 [44%] early; 23 [25%] late). There were 32 patients (34%) with low-grade complications and 24 (26%) with PMC. With PMC, only six of 24 patients (25%) received early AT and 13 of 24 (54%) received any (early/late) AT versus 35 of 69 (51%) early AT and 51 of 69 (74%) any AT without PMC. PMCs were associated with worse median OS (7.1 versus 24.6 mo, without PMC, P < 0.001). Independent predictors of OS included AT (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.48), tumor >2 cm (HR: 3.39), node-positivity (HR: 2.16), and PMC (HR: 3.69, all P < 0.02).

Conclusions: Independent of AT utilization and biologic factors, PMC negatively impacted OS in patients treated with surgery first. These data suggest that strategies to decrease PMC and treatment sequencing alternatives to increase multimodality therapy rates may improve oncologic outcomes for PDAC.

Keywords: Adjuvant therapy; Complications; Pancreatic cancer; Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Resection; Survival; Whipple.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome