Upfront resection versus neoadjuvant therapy for T1/T2 pancreatic cancer.

Document Type


Publication Date



Surgery, Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

HPB (Oxford)

MeSH Headings

Neoadjuvant Therapy, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Pancreatectomy


BACKGROUND: The role of neoadjuvant therapy remains controversial for resectable pancreatic neoplasms. We evaluated treatment outcomes for T1/T2 tumors.

METHODS: Retrospective study of patients with T1/T2 (Stage I-II) pancreatic cancer within the NCDB. Treatment-sequence variables were used for classification: "surgery + chemotherapy" (S+C), "chemotherapy + surgery" (C+S), "surgery only" (SO), and "chemotherapy only" (CO).

RESULTS: 13 412 patients were included; the majority had T2 tumors. 8 490 received upfront surgery; 4 922 preoperative chemotherapy. In the surgery branch, 5 684 received surgery and chemotherapy (S+C); 2 806 did not receive chemotherapy (SO). Of those intended to receive preoperative chemotherapy, 3 804 received only chemotherapy (CO); 1 118 proceeded to surgery (C+S). Median survival for S+C and C+S groups was similar (25.9 vs 26.2) [HR 0.92, p= 0.41]. Compared to the CO group, the SO group had improved median survival (13.5 vs. 10.8) [HR 0.63, p

CONCLUSION: Patients with T1/T2 pancreatic cancer have similar survival irrespective of the timing of chemotherapy and surgery, if they receive both. Upfront resection ensures surgery is delivered, increasing the possibility of long-term survival.