Background: Since 1973, 210 patients with pancreatic carcinoma have undergone surgery in our clinic, including 144 with carcinoma of the head of the pancreas. Of these 144 patients, macroscopic curative resections were performed on 53 (36.8%). Five patients (9.4%) died within 30 postoperative days, and an additional 3 (5.7%) died within 60 days. The overall median survival was 13 months. Eight of the patients who underwent macroscopic curative resection survived 5 years, giving a 5-year survival rate of 27.4% using the Kaplan-Meier method. The 5-year survival rate was 39.7% after a microscopically curative resection and 0% after a microscopically noncurative resection.
Methods: Outcome was compared based on the extent of pancreatic cancer by constructing survival curves according to the general rules published by the Japan Pancreas Society.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference in survival based on tumor size or stage. However, there was a significant difference in the survival of patients with the absence (so) or presence (se) of invasion to the anterior capsule of the pancreas, the absence (rpo) or presence (rpe) of invasion of the retroperitoneal tissue, the absence (ew0) or presence (ew2) of invasion at the surgical margin of resection, and the extent (n0 to n2) of lymph node metastasis.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that extended radical pancreatectomy may be indicated for patients with pancreatic carcinoma because standard dissection may fail when the tumor has spread to the retroperitoneum or extrapancreatic nerve plexus.