Survival After Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Ampullary Cancer is not Affected by Age
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Although pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) provides the best chance of survival for elderly patients with ampullary carcinoma, it is associated with considerable surgical risk. The aim of the present study was to compare the benefits and risks of pancreaticoduodenectomy as a treatment of ampullary carcinoma between young and elderly patients.
Patients and methods
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 171 consecutive patients treated at our hospital. Comparison of the biological aggressiveness of ampullary cancer between old and younger patients was also performed by immunohistochemical study of several prognostic biological markers, including MUC1, MUC2, CK17, and CDX2.
For patients in whom ampullary carcinoma was presumed resectable preoperatively, actuarial survival was significantly poorer in 55 elderly patients because 9 of them did not have PD (the other 46 had PD) than in 101 younger patients (all had PD). Multivariate analysis indicated that PD was the only independent prognostic factor; age was not. There were no significant differences in MUC1, CK17, MUC2, and CDX2 immunohistochemical staining of ampullary carcinomas between elderly and young patients. In spite of increased co-morbidities, PD could be performed as safely in elderly patients as in young patients. After PD, the actuarial survivalwas similar between old and young patients.
Our data support the conclusion that ampullary cancers in elderly patients should be treated as aggressively as in younger patients.