Neoadjuvant Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer: Increased Use and Improved Optimal Outcomes

Catherine H. Davis, Joal D. Beane, Victor P. Gazivoda, Miral S. Grandhi, Alissa A. Greenbaum, Timothy J. Kennedy, Russell C. Langan, David A. August, H. Richard Alexander, Henry A. Pitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The introduction of more effective chemotherapy a decade ago has led to increased use of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The aim of this study was to assess the evolving use of NAT in individuals with PDAC undergoing pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) and to compare their outcomes with patients undergoing upfront operation. STUDY DESIGN: The American College of Surgeons NSQIP Procedure Targeted Pancreatectomy database was queried from 2014 to 2019. Patients undergoing pancreatoduodenectomy were evaluated based on the use of NAT versus upfront operation. Multivariable analysis was performed to determine the effect of NAT on postoperative outcomes, including the composite measure optimal pancreatic surgery (OPS). Mann-Kendall trend tests were performed to assess the use of NAT and associated outcomes over time. RESULTS: A total of 13,257 patients were identified who underwent PD for PDAC between 2014 and 2019. Overall, 33.6% of patients received NAT. The use of NAT increased steadily from 24.2% in 2014 to 42.7% in 2019 (p < 0.0001). On multivariable analysis, NAT was associated with reduced serious morbidity (odds ratio [OR] 0.83, p < 0.001), clinically relevant pancreatic fistulas (OR 0.52, p < 0.001), organ space infections (OR 0.74, p < 0.001), percutaneous drainage (OR 0.73, p < 0.001), reoperation (OR 0.76, p = 0.005), and prolonged length of stay (OR 0.63, p < 0.001). OPS was achieved more frequently in patients undergoing NAT (OR 1.433, p < 0.001) and improved over time in patients receiving NAT (50.7% to 56.6%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: NAT before pancreatoduodenectomy increased more than 3-fold over the past decade and was associated with improved optimal operative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-443
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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