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HPB (Oxford). 2009 Jun;11(4):282-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-2574.2009.00055.x.

Redefining resection margin status in pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Histopathology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.


Curative resection is crucial to survival in pancreatic cancer; however, despite optimization and standardization of surgical procedures, this is not always achieved. This review highlights that the rates of microscopic margin involvement (R1) vary markedly between studies and, although resection margin status is believed to be a key prognostic factor, the rates of margin involvement and local tumour recurrence or overall survival of pancreatic cancer patients are often incongruent. Recent studies indicate that the discrepancy between margin status and clinical outcome is caused by frequent underreporting of microscopic margin involvement. Lack of standardization of pathological examination, confusing nomenclature and controversy regarding the definition of microscopic margin involvement have resulted in the wide variation of reported R1 rates that precludes meaningful comparison of data and clinicopathological correlation.


cancer; pancreas; pathology; resection margin

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