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Ann Surg. 2008 Mar;247(3):456-62. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181613142.

Long-term survival after pancreatoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: is cure possible?

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Division of Gastroenterologic and General Surgery; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To determine long-term survival after pancreatoduodenectomy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and to identify clinical factors associated with long-term survival.


The prognosis for long-term survival even after potentially curative resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma is thought to be poor. Clinical factors determining short-term survival after pancreatic resection are well studied, but prognostic factors predicting long-term survival with a potential for cure are poorly understood.


A case-control study was conducted of 357 patients who underwent pancreatoduodenectomy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma between 1981 and 2001. Histologic specimens were reanalyzed to confirm diagnosis. Follow-up was at least 5 years or until death.


There was an improved survival throughout the observation period (P = 0.004). We found 62 actual 5-year survivors of whom 21 patients survived greater than 10 years, for a 5- and 10-year survival rate of 18% and 13%, respectively. Cohort analysis comparing patients with short-term (<5 years, n = 295) and long-term (> or =5 years, n = 62) survival showed that more advanced disease (greatest tumor diameter, lymph node metastasis) and decreased serum albumin concentration were unfavorable for long-term survival (all P < 0.05). In contrast, the extent of resection and more aggressive histologic features did not correlate with long-term survival (all P > 0.05). En-bloc resection (P = 0.005) but not resection margin status (P > 0.05) was associated with long-term survival. Adjuvant chemoradiation therapy did not significantly influence long-term survival. Multivariate analysis identified lymph node status (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.14-0.89, P = 0.03) as a prognostic factor for long-term survival. Five-year survival was no guarantee of cure because 16% of this subset died of pancreatic cancer up to 7.8 years after operation.


Pancreatoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma in the head of pancreas can provide long-term survival in a subset of patients, particularly in the absence of lymph node metastasis. One of 8 patients can achieve 10-year survival with a potential for cure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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