, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 68-79
Date: 08 Nov 2011

Effect of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation and Surgical Technique on Recurrence of Localized Pancreatic Cancer

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To determine the influence of neoadjuvant chemoradiation and standardized dissection of the superior mesenteric artery upon the oncologic outcome of patients with localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


One hundred ninety-four patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy between 2004 and 2008 were evaluated. The retroperitoneal dissection was performed directly along the superior mesenteric artery in all cases. A standard histopathologic protocol that measured the “superior mesenteric artery (SMA) margin distance” between cancer cells and the superior mesenteric artery was employed.


Seventy-six percent of patients received neoadjuvant chemoradiation. The SMA margin was positive in 4% of patients but an additional 22% of patients with a negative margin had a SMA margin distance of ≤1 mm. Preoperative CT images overestimated the SMA margin distance in 73% of cases. Patients who received chemoradiation had longer SMA margin distances than those who did not. Patients who received chemoradiation and had a SMA margin of >1 mm had the lowest recurrence rates. Administration of neoadjuvant chemoradiation and lower estimated blood loss were independently associated with longer progression-free survival on multivariate analysis.


Preoperative chemoradiation and meticulous dissection of the superior mesenteric artery maximize the distance between cancer cells and the SMA margin and may influence locoregional control.

Accepted for plenary oral presentation at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Chicago, IL, 10 May 2011