Multiagent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and tumor response are associated with improved survival in pancreatic cancer

HPB (Oxford). 2019 Apr;21(4):413-418. doi: 10.1016/j.hpb.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Oct 5.


Background: Neoadjuvant therapy (NT) for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer (BRPC) has evolved to include multi-agent regimens and chemoradiation. We report our experience and compare outcomes of initially resectable pancreatic cancer (IRPC) vs BRPC receiving NT across two eras of chemotherapy regimens.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively on pancreaticoduodenectomy patients between January 2008 and October 2015. Outcomes and survival were compared based on patient, laboratory and treatment factors.

Results: 195 patients were included and 133 had IRPC and 62 BRPC. IRPC operations were shorter (449 min vs 520 min, p = 0.003), had less blood loss (663 ml vs 954 ml, p = 0.002) and involved fewer vascular resections (29% vs 76%, p = 0.002). The rate of R0 resection was identical (82%, p = 1) and the IRPC group had higher node-positive ratio (19.3% vs 7.2% p < 0.0001). 15 patients received a single agent regimen while 47 received multi-agent regimens with 90% receiving radiation.Survival was similar between BRPC and IRPC (log-rank p = 0.7). Histopathologic response (CAP grade 0 or 1) was not associated with survival (p = 0.13), but completion of ≥4 cycles of multi-agent pre-operative chemotherapy (p = 0.001) and complete response to NT (p = 0.04) were significant predictors of survival.

Conclusions: BRPC patients treated with NT have similar morbidity and survival to their IRPC counterparts. Pathologic response and modern NT are associated with improved survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis