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Date of this Version



Dhir et al. World Journal of Surgical Oncology (2017) 15:183, DOI 10.1186/s12957-017-1240-2.


Copyright © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Background: Recent years have seen standardization of the anatomic definitions of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and increasing utilization of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT). The aim of the current review was to summarize the evidence for NAT in pancreatic adenocarcinoma since 2009, when consensus criteria for resectable (R), borderline resectable (BR), and locally advanced (LA) disease were endorsed.

Methods: PubMed search was undertaken along with extensive backward search of the references of published articles to identify studies utilizing NAT for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Abstracts from ASCO-GI 2014 and 2015 were also searched.

Results: A total of 96 studies including 5520 patients were included in the final quantitative synthesis. Pooled estimates revealed 36% grade ≥ 3 toxicities, 5% biliary complications, 21% hospitalization rate and low mortality (0%, range 0–16%) during NAT. The majority of patients (59%) had stable disease. On an intention-to-treat basis, R0-resection rates varied from 63% among R patients to 23% among LA patients. R0 rates were > 80% among all patients who were resected after NAT. Among R and BR patients who underwent resection after NAT, median OS was 30 and 27.4 months, respectively.

Conclusions: The current study summarizes the recent literature for NAT in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and demonstrates improving outcomes after NAT compared to those historically associated with a surgery-first approach for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.