Neoadjuvant therapy followed by resection versus upfront resection for resectable pancreatic cancer: A propensity score matched analysis

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Purpose To compare overall survival between patients who received neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) followed by resection and those who received upfront resection (UR)-as well as a subgroup of UR patients who also received adjuvant therapy-for early-stage resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Patients and Methods Adult patients with resected, clinical stage I or II adenocarcinoma of the head of the pancreas were identified in the National Cancer Database from 2006 to 2012. Patients who underwent NAT followed by curative-intent resection were matched by propensity score with patients whose tumors were resected upfront. Overall survival was compared by using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. Early postoperative and oncologic outcomes were evaluated. Results We identified 15,237 patients with clinical stage I or II resected pancreatic head adenocarcinoma. From the NAT group, 2,005 patients (95%) were matched with 6,015 patients who underwent UR. The NAT group was associated with improved survival compared with UR (median survival, 26 months v 21 months, respectively; stratified log-rank P , .01; hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.68 to 0.78). Patients in the UR group had higher pathologic T stage (pT3 and T4: 86% v 73%; P , .01), higher positive lymph nodes (73% v 48%; P , .01), and higher positive resection margin (24% v 17%; P , .01). Compared with a subset of UR patients who received adjuvant therapy, NAT patients had a better survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.89). Conclusion NAT followed by resection has a significant survival benefit compared with UR in early-stage, resected pancreatic head adenocarcinoma. These findings support the use of NAT, particularly as a patient selection tool, in the management of resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-522
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 10 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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