Pancreas| Volume 169, ISSUE 5, P1102-1109, May 2021

The importance of multimodal therapy in the management of nonmetastatic adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas: Analysis of treatment sequence and strategy

Published:December 26, 2020DOI:



      Adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas has historically poor survival. We analyzed survival outcomes stratified by treatment regimen and sequence using an administrative dataset.


      Adult patients with nonmetastatic adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas were identified using the National Cancer Database (2010−2016). Multivariable analyses were used to determine factors associated with receipt of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Overall survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and a multivariable Cox model was used to evaluate factors associated with survival.


      A total of 838 patients with adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas were included in the analysis. The median age was 69 years and 64.7% of patients underwent pancreatectomy. Among patients who underwent pancreatectomy, 60.5% received adjuvant chemotherapy, 14.8% received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 24.7% underwent surgery alone. Older age and increasing comorbidity index were associated with a reduced likelihood of receiving neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Median survival of patients who received chemotherapy alone was similar compared with patients who underwent pancreatectomy alone (9.2 vs 7.2 months, P = .504). Survival was improved if patients received both chemotherapy and pancreatectomy (neoadjuvant = 19.6 months, hazard ratio = 0.58; adjuvant = 19.4 months, hazard ratio = 0.64) compared with pancreatectomy alone.


      Patients with adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas who do not receive multimodal therapy have poor survival. The sequence of chemotherapy and pancreatectomy is not associated with survival, but 25% of patients who undergo surgery do not receive chemotherapy. Given that there is no difference in median survival between patients who undergo pancreatectomy alone or receive chemotherapy alone, our data question whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be considered in patients with potentially resectable adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas.
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