Oncologic management of ampullary cancer: International survey among surgical and medical oncologists

Surg Oncol. 2022 Sep;44:101841. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2022.101841. Epub 2022 Sep 1.


Background: Ampullary adenocarcinoma (AAC) is a rare neoplasm which as a result is lacking specific treatment guidelines. This international survey study was performed to gain insight in the current daily practice of AAC.

Methods: Surgeons and medical oncologists, whom were members of the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group, International Study Group on Ampullary Cancer, International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, European and International Consortium on Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Surgery, or contributed to (peri)ampullary cancer research, were invited through email and newsletters between January and October 2021.

Results: Overall, 217 surgeons and medical oncologists completed the survey. Most of the respondents work in Europe (60%), and in a pancreatic expertise center (86%). The majority of respondents (87%) stated that the histological AAC subtype (e.g. intestinal vs. pancreatobiliary) was determined in the resection specimen. Neoadjuvant treatment for resectable disease was considered by 24% and adjuvant therapy by 90% of the respondents, with 80% of them choosing adjuvant chemotherapy alone. The formation of multidisciplinary teams, improvement in resection procedures, increased availability of chemotherapy regimens, and increased knowledge on tumor biology were considered as the most important developments in the last five years. The necessity for randomized controlled trials was mentioned by 50% of the respondents.

Conclusions: This international survey highlights the existing variation in the management of patients with AAC, especially regarding the use of (neo)adjuvant therapy. More data from trials and international registries are needed to develop evidence-based guidelines on surgical and oncological management with the ultimate aim to improve outcomes for patients with AAC.

Keywords: Ampulla of Vater; Neoplasms; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Ampulla of Vater* / pathology
  • Ampulla of Vater* / surgery
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Duodenal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Oncologists*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Supplementary concepts

  • Pancreatic Carcinoma