Objective: To prospectively evaluate the survival benefit of dissection of the nerve plexus and lymphadenectomy in patients with pancreatic head cancer.
Background: Despite randomized controlled trials on the extent of surgery in pancreatic cancer, attempts have been made to perform more extended resections.
Methods: A total of 244 patients were enrolled; of these, 200 were randomized to undergo standard resection or extended resection, with the latter including the dissection of additional lymph nodes and the right half of the nerve plexus around the superior mesenteric artery and celiac axis. We evaluated 167 patients from 7 centers who fulfilled all of the required criteria.
Result: Operation time was longer and estimated blood loss was higher in the extended resection group than in the standard resection group, but the R0 resection rate was comparable. The mean number of lymph nodes retrieved per patient was higher in the extended resection group than in the standard resection group (33.7 vs 17.3; P < 0.001). The morbidity rate was slightly higher in the extended resection group than in the standard resection group. Two patients in the extended resection group died in hospital. Median survival after R0 resection was similar in the extended resection and standard resection groups (18.0 vs 19.0 months; P = 0.239) regardless of lymph node metastasis. Adjuvant chemoradiation had a positive impact on overall survival.
Conclusions: This study suggests that extended lymphadenectomy with dissection of the nerve plexus does not provide a significant survival benefit compared with standard resection in pancreatic head cancer. Standard resection can be performed safely and efficiently, without negatively affecting oncologic efficacy or long-term survival, when compared with extended pancreaticoduodenal resection. (NCT00679913)?