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Evaluation of local recurrence after pancreaticoduodenectomy for borderline resectable pancreatic head cancer with neoadjuvant chemotherapy: Can the resection level change after chemotherapy?

Published:November 21, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2022.10.025

      Abstract

      Background

      Neoadjuvant treatment has significant survival benefits for patients with pancreatic cancer. However, local recurrence remains a serious issue, even after neoadjuvant treatment. This study investigated local recurrence after pancreaticoduodenectomy and determined the optimal resection level after neoadjuvant treatment.

      Methods

      This retrospective study analyzed consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer after 4 cycles of neoadjuvant treatment-gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel between April 2015 and March 2020. Patients with borderline resectable-artery pancreatic cancer were classified according to the dissection level around the artery: level 3 group, hemi-, or whole circumferential arterial nerve plexus was dissected; and level 2 group, the nerve plexus was preserved.

      Results

      Fifty-six patients with borderline resectable-artery pancreatic cancer underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy after neoadjuvant treatment (level 3 group, n = 40; level 2 group, n = 16). The resection level in the level 2 group was changed based on post-neoadjuvant treatment computed tomography images or intraoperative frozen section diagnosis. The overall and local recurrence rates were significantly higher in the level 2 group than in the level 3 group (overall recurrence, 93.8% vs 70.0%; P = .037) (local recurrence, 50.0% vs 5.0%; P < .001). Ten patients experienced local recurrence, of which 8 belonged to the level 2 group. Among them, 4 patients were confirmed as cancer-negative by surgical margin analysis or intraoperative frozen section diagnosis but experienced recurrence around the arteries.

      Conclusion

      For treating borderline resectable-artery pancreatic cancer, changing the resection level based on post-neoadjuvant treatment computed tomography images increased the risk of local recurrence. All patients with borderline resectable-artery should undergo level 3 dissection, regardless of the response to neoadjuvant treatment.
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