Original Research Article| Volume 224, ISSUE 6, P1426-1431, December 2022

Improved outcomes for borderline resectable adenocarcinoma of the pancreas after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in a community cancer center

Published:November 04, 2022DOI:


      • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for borderline resectable cancer leads to improved overall survival.
      • Outcomes in a community cancer center for borderline pancreatic cancer.
      • Morbidity and mortality for pancreaticoduodenectomy in borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.
      • Comparable resection rate and margin free resection rates in a community cancer center for borderline pancreatic cancer.



      Borderline resectable adenocarcinoma of the pancreas involves the major vascular structures adjacent to the pancreas and has traditionally led to poor resection rates and survival. Newer chemotherapy regimens have demonstrated improved response and resection rates. We performed a retrospective review of borderline resectable pancreatic cancers who presented to a community cancer program to determine the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy to improve resection rates and overall survival.


      Records of all patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019 were reviewed to determine stage at presentation, resectablility status, treatment methods, surgical resection and survival. Borderline resectable status was determined by preoperative imaging in agreement with published criteria from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines 2.2021. Data was collected and analyzed by standard t-test. This study was approved by the institution's IRB.


      During this time period 322 patients were diagnosed with ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas of which 151 (47%) were unresectable, 31 (10%) were locally advanced, 70 (22%) were borderline resectable, and 69 (21%) were resectable at the time of presentation. 36 (51%) of the borderline resectable patients underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy at our institution with either FOLFIRINOX or gemcitibine/nab-Paclitaxel regimens and served as the basis for this analysis. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy 24 (68%) of the borderline-resectable patients were deemed suitable for surgical exploration. At exploration, 15 (64%) were resected with 9 (60%) achieving margin-free resection on final pathology. The overall survival of those that underwent resection was increased by 19.6 months compared to those that did not undergo surgery (35.4 versus 15.8 mos, p < 0.01). Overall morbidity after resection was 46% (33% class 1 or 2, 13% class 3) with 0% mortality at 90 days.


      Use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for borderline resectable adenocarcinoma of the pancreas results in improved resection rates and overall survival in resected patients. This management strategy for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is safe and feasible in a community-based cancer program.
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