Factors influencing outcome in patients undergoing portal vein resection for adenocarcinoma of the pancreas

V. M. Banz, D. Croagh, C. Coldham, P. Tanière, J. Buckels, J. Isaac, Diane Mayer, P. Muiesan, S. Bramhall, D. F. Mirza

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Background: Survival rates after surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) remain low. Selected patients with portal/superior mesenteric vein (PV) involvement undergo PV resection at pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). This study analyses outcomes for PD with/without PV resection in patients with PDA. Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data on patients requiring PD for histologically proven adenocarcinoma between 1/1997 and 9/2009 identified 326 patients with PDA, with 51 requiring PD with PV resection. Patients were analyzed in two groups: PD + PV resection vs. PD alone. Multivariate analysis was used to identify predictive variables influencing survival and the Kaplan-Meier method to estimate patient survival. Results: Mean age for patients with PV resection was 66.4 (range 46-80) years, 47% were male. Both groups had similar patient demographics, perioperative and tumor characteristics. Postoperative morbidity was similar for patients with and without PV resection (27.5 vs. 28.4%). 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with PV resection (13.7%) vs. PD alone (5.1%). Overall survival however was similar in both groups (median PD alone 14.8 months vs. 14.5 months PD + PV). Multivariate analysis identified age, tumor grading, stay on the ICU and lack of chemotherapy as independent risk factors for reduced long-term survival. Conclusion: In carefully selected patients, PV resection results in similar long-term survival compared to PD alone. In selected patients, PV infiltration may be considered a sign of anatomical proximity of the tumor, rather than only a sign of increased tumor aggressiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Portal vein
  • Surgery

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