Is surgical resection justified for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with distant abdominal organ metastasis? A position paper by experts in pancreatic surgery at the Joint Meeting of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) & the Japan Pancreas Society (JPS) 2022 in Kyoto

Pancreatology. 2023 Sep;23(6):682-688. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2023.07.005. Epub 2023 Jul 20.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a typical refractory malignancy, and many patients have distant organ metastases at diagnosis, such as liver metastasis and peritoneal dissemination. The standard treatment for unresectable PDAC with distant organ metastasis (UR-M) is chemotherapy, but the prognosis remained poor. However, with recent dramatic developments in chemotherapy, the prognosis has gradually improved, and some patients have experienced marked shrinkage or disappearance of their metastatic lesions. With this trend, attempts have been made to resect a small number of metastases (so-called oligometastases) in combination with the primary tumor or to resect the primary and metastatic tumor in patients with a favorable response to anti-cancer treatment after a certain period of time (so-called conversion surgery). An international consensus meeting on surgical treatment for UR-M PDAC was held during the Joint Congress of the 26th Meeting of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) and the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Japan Pancreas Society (JPS) in Kyoto in July 2022. The presenters showed their indications for and results of surgical treatment for UR-M PDAC and discussed their advantages and disadvantages with the experts. Although these reports were limited to a small number of patients, findings suggest that these surgical treatments for patients with UR-M PDAC who have had a significant response to chemotherapy may contribute to a prognosis of prolonged survival. We hope that this article summarizing the discussion and agreements at the meeting will serve as the basis for future trials and guidelines.

Keywords: Conversion surgery; Liver metastasis; Oligometastasis; Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Peritoneal dissemination; Staging laparoscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / pathology
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Gastroenterology*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreas / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology