Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 703–712 | Cite as

Anthropometric Changes in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer Undergoing Preoperative Therapy and Pancreatoduodenectomy

  • Jordan M. Cloyd
  • Graciela M. Nogueras-González
  • Laura R. Prakash
  • Maria Q. B. Petzel
  • Nathan H. Parker
  • An T. Ngo-Huang
  • David Fogelman
  • Jason W. Denbo
  • Naveen Garg
  • Michael P. Kim
  • Jeffrey E. Lee
  • Ching-Wei D. Tzeng
  • Jason B. Fleming
  • Matthew H. G. Katz
Original Article



The changes in body composition that occur in response to therapy for localized pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and during the early survivorship period, as well as their clinical significance, are poorly understood.


One hundred twenty-seven consecutive patients with PDAC who received preoperative therapy followed by pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) at a single institution between 2009 and 2012 were longitudinally evaluated. Changes in skeletal muscle (SKM), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were measured on serial computed tomography images obtained upon presentation, prior to pancreatectomy, and approximately 3 and 12 months after surgery.


Prior to therapy, patients’ mean baseline BMI was 26.5 ± 4.7 kg/m2 and 63.0% met radiographic criteria for sarcopenia. During a mean 5.4 ± 2.3 months of preoperative therapy, minimal changes in SKM (− 0.5 ± 7.8%, p > 0.05), VAT (− 1.8 ± 62.6%, p < 0.001), and SAT (− 4.8 ± 27.7%, p < 0.001) were observed. In contrast, clinically significant changes were observed on postoperative CT compared to baseline anthropometry: SKM − 4.1 ± 10.7%, VAT − 38.7 ± 30.2%, and SAT − 24.1 ± 22.6% (all p < 0.001) and these changes persisted at one year following PD. While anthropometric changes during preoperative therapy were not independently associated with survival, SKM gain between the postoperative period and one-year follow-up was associated with improved overall survival (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.29–0.87).


In contrast to the minor changes that occur during preoperative therapy for PDAC, significant losses in key anthropometric parameters tend to occur over the first year following PD. Ongoing SKM loss in the postoperative period may represent an early marker for worse outcomes.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma Body composition Neoadjuvant therapy Whipple Pancreatoduodenectomy Pancreatectomy 


Financial Support

This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute under award number P30CA016672 (used the Clinical Trials Support Resource and the Biostatistics Resource Group). Additional support provided by the Knox Family fund.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors made substantial contributions to the

- conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work

- drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content

- final approval of the version to be published

- agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s (MDACC) institutional review board approved this retrospective study.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordan M. Cloyd
    • 1
  • Graciela M. Nogueras-González
    • 2
  • Laura R. Prakash
    • 1
  • Maria Q. B. Petzel
    • 1
  • Nathan H. Parker
    • 1
  • An T. Ngo-Huang
    • 3
  • David Fogelman
    • 4
  • Jason W. Denbo
    • 1
  • Naveen Garg
    • 5
  • Michael P. Kim
    • 1
  • Jeffrey E. Lee
    • 1
  • Ching-Wei D. Tzeng
    • 1
  • Jason B. Fleming
    • 1
  • Matthew H. G. Katz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Gastrointestinal Medical OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Diagnostic ImagingThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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