The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-77) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
K-CC wrote the manuscript, S-HU carried out the pathological examination, J-TH helped write the manuscript, T-SY helped write the manuscript,Y-YJ participated in data collection, T-LH helped write the manuscript, M-FC helped review this manuscript. C-NY finalized the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PCA) is one of the most lethal human malignancies, and radical surgery remains the cornerstone of treatment. After resection, the overall 5-year survival rate is only 10% to 29%. At the time of presentation, however, about 40% of patients generally have distant metastases and another 40% are usually diagnosed with locally advanced cancers. The remaining 20% of patients are indicated for surgery on the basis of the results of preoperative imaging studies; however, about half of these patients are found to be unsuitable for resection during surgical exploration. In the current study, we aimed to determine the clinicopathological characteristics that predict the resectability of PCA and to conduct a prognostic analysis of PCA after resection to identify favorable survival factors.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical files of 688 patients (422 men and 266 women) who had undergone surgery for histopathologically proven PCA in the Department of Surgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan from 1981 to 2006. We compared the clinical characteristics of patients who underwent resection and patients who did not undergo resection in order to identify the predictive factors for successful resectability of PCA, and we conducted prognostic analysis for PCA after resection.
A carbohydrate antigen 19–9 (CA 19–9) level of 37 U/ml or greater and a tumor size of 3 cm or more independently predicted resectability of PCA. In terms of survival after resection, PCA patients with better nutritional status (measured as having an albumin level greater than 3.5 g/dl), radical resection, early tumor stage and better-differentiated tumors were associated with favorable survival.
Besides traditional imaging studies, preoperative CA 19–9 levels and tumor size can also be used to determine the resectability of PCA. Better nutritional status, curative resection, early tumor stage and well-differentiated tumors predict the favorable prognosis of PCA patients after resection.
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