J Cancer 2021; 12(2):539-552. doi:10.7150/jca.51218

Research Paper

Can Patients with Pancreatic Cancer and Liver Metastases Obtain Survival Benefit from Surgery? A Population-Based Study

Bing-Bing Su1*, Dou-Sheng Bai1*, Jiang-Quan Yu2, Chi Zhang1, Sheng-Jie Jin1, Bao-Huan Zhou1, Guo-Qing Jiang1✉

1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, China.
2. Department of Intensive Care Unit, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Su BB, Bai DS, Yu JQ, Zhang C, Jin SJ, Zhou BH, Jiang GQ. Can Patients with Pancreatic Cancer and Liver Metastases Obtain Survival Benefit from Surgery? A Population-Based Study. J Cancer 2021; 12(2):539-552. doi:10.7150/jca.51218. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p0539.htm

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Abstract

Background: Surgery for pancreatic cancer with liver metastases (PCL) is not recommended in the international guidelines, and investigation of its clinical significance in patients with PCL is very limited. This study explored whether surgery, especially synchronous resection of the primary tumor and liver metastases (SPL), could improve survival in PCL.

Methods: Data of 14,248 patients with PCL from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was analyzed. Patients were divided into following groups: SPL, synchronous primary site, and other resection (SPO), single resection of the primary site (SPS), and no resection (NR).

Results: In this study, only 93 (0.7%) underwent SPL, 88 (0.6%) for SPO, and 232 (1.6%) for SPS. Multivariate Cox analysis showed surgical procedures of both the primary site and other sites were independent protective prognostic factors for pancreatic cancer cause-specific survival (PCSS) (all P < 0.001). Patients in the SPL group showed the most survival benefit, with a significant and gradually increased difference as compared with the SPO, SPS, and NR groups (median survival: 54, 34, 15, and 3 months, respectively, all P < 0.001). Compared with the NR group, mortalities were significant and gradually declining in the SPS, SPO, and SPL groups, with hazard ratio 0.329 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.281 to 0.386), 0.220 (95% CI, 0.164 to 0.294), and 0.162 (95% CI, 0.118 to 0.222), respectively (all P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Surgical procedures for both primary site and other sites improved survival. SPL, particularly, showed a considerable survival benefit in well-selected patients with PCL.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, metastases, surgical procedures, survival, SEER