The role of staging laparoscopy in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and its effect on patients' survival

World J Surg Oncol. 2022 Oct 11;20(1):337. doi: 10.1186/s12957-022-02803-y.


Background: Prompt and accurate staging of pancreatic cancer is essential to distinguish patients to benefit from resection with curative intent and those with unresectable disease. A staging laparoscopy is used preoperatively to identify macroscopic or occult metastases not identified on imaging. This single-institution study aims to evaluate the role of staging laparoscopy in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and its effect on overall survival.

Method: Clinicopathologic data were evaluated for all patients undergoing staging laparoscopy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma from July 2014 to December 2019. The study identified 155 patients eligible for analysis. All patients were followed for at least 2 years. Clinical backgrounds, survival curves and prognostic factors were investigated.

Results: Resectability status among the cohort was 62 (40%) upfront resectable, 53 (34%) borderline resectable and 40 (26%) locally advanced disease. The median age was 69, with 44% male patients. Median CA19-9 value was 125 kU/L, and median CA125 value was 22 kU/L. Staging laparoscopy resulted in upstaging nine (15%) upfront resectable patients, five (9%) borderline resectable patients and ten (25%) locally advanced patients. There was positive cytology in 19 (12%), peritoneal deposits in six (4%) and peritoneal liver deposits in seven (5%) patients. Overall, the number needed to treat (NNT) to avoid an unnecessary laparotomy was eight patients.

Conclusion: Staging laparoscopy continues to be a valuable investigation of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In this institution, one in every eight patients undergoing a staging laparoscopy was upstaged to metastatic disease, thus avoiding an unnecessary laparotomy or a non-curative resection.

Keywords: Pancreatic disorders; Pancreatic surgery; Staging laparoscopy; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Aged
  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / surgery


  • CA-19-9 Antigen