Background and objectives: The 5-year survival rates after resection of pancreatic carcinoma have recently increased and are predicted by tumor size, DNA content, and lymph node metastases at the time of resection. However, whether the 10-year survival rates have also increased and are similarly predicted by these factors is not known.
Methods: The influence of preoperative imaging tests, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, K-ras mutations, anatomic location, details of surgical resection, pathologic findings, and tumor DNA content on survival was tested for 96 patients after a successful resection of a pancreatic carcinoma with 17 patients being followed for more than 5 years.
Results: The 5- and 10-year patient survival rates were 18% and 3%, respectively. Univariate and multivariable analyses showed that tumor DNA content, pathologic tumor size, and lymph node metastases were the strongest prognostic indicators for long-term patient survival, although the importance of tumor size may diminish 2 or more years after resection. Surprisingly, the 11 patients with diploid carcinomas > or = 4 cm had an estimated 10-year survival rate of 36%.
Conclusion: These results show that the 10-year survival rate for pancreatic carcinoma remains very low, although the subset of patients with biologically favorable tumors has a prolonged survival and possible cure after resection.