Standard surgical treatment in pancreatic cancer

Wagner, M. ; Dikopoulos, N. ; Kulli, C. ; Friess, H. ; Büchler, M.W.

In: Annals of Oncology, 1999, vol. 10, p. S247-S251

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    Pancreatic cancer is the third leading neoplasm of the gastrointestinal system and has a dismal prognosis. The majority of patients are no more suitable for resection at time of diagnosis due to early development of distant metastases or major infiltrations of adjacent structures. However, due to the resistance of pancreatic cancers against chemoradiation, curative resection represents the only therapy with a potential for cure. For the surgical treatment of pancreatic head cancer, the classical Whipple operation is still the standard procedure but during the last two decades, pylorus-preserving duodenopancreatectomy has been evolved as a more conservative procedure in order to omit the consequences of partial gastrectomy. For cancer of the pancreatic body and tail, distal pancreatectomy or total pancreatectomy represent the current standard treatment. More radical methods like regional pancreatectomy and resection with extended lymph node dissection have failed so far to demonstrate any improvements in long-term survival compared to the standard types of resection. To further improve the treatment of pancreatic cancer, prospectively randomised trials are needed to compare these extended surgical procedures with the standard types of resection