Role of lymphadenectomy, adjuvant chemotherapy, and treatment at high-volume centers in patients with resected pancreatic cancer-a distinct view on lymph node yield.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: While the importance of lymphadenectomy is well-established for patients with resectable pancreatic cancer, its direct impact on survival in relation to other predictive factors is still ill-defined. METHODS: The National Cancer Data Base 2006-2015 was queried for patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma (stage IA-IIB). Patients were dichotomized into the following two groups, those with 1-14 resected lymph nodes and those with ≥ 15. Optimal number of resected lymph nodes and the effect of lymphadenectomy on survival were assessed using various statistical modeling techniques. Mediation analysis was performed to differentiate the direct and indirect effect of lymph node resection on survival. RESULTS: A total of 21,912 patients were included; median age was 66 years (IQR 59-73), 48.9% were female. Median number of resected lymph nodes was 15 (IQR 10-22), 10,163 (46.4%) had 1-14 and 11,749 (53.6%) had ≥ 15 lymph nodes retrieved. Lymph node positivity increased by 4.1% per lymph node up to eight examined lymph nodes, and by 0.6% per lymph node above eight. Five-year overall survival was 17.9%. Overall survival was better in the ≥ 15 lymph node group (adjusted HR 0.91, CI 0.88-0.95, p < 0.001). On a continuous scale, survival improved with increasing LNs collected. Patients who underwent adjuvant chemotherapy and were treated at high-volume centers had improved overall survival compared with their counterparts (adjusted HR 0.59, CI 0.57-0.62, p < 0.001; adjusted HR 0.86, CI 0.83-0.89, p < 0.001, respectively). Mediation analysis revealed that lymphadenectomy had only 18% direct effect on improved overall survival, while 82% of its effect were mediated by other factors like treatment at high-volume hospitals and adjuvant chemotherapy. DISCUSSION: While higher number of resected lymph nodes increases lymph node positivity and is associated with better overall survival, most of the observed survival benefit is mediated by chemotherapy and treatment at high-volume centers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Warschkow, R; Tsai, C; Köhn, N; Erdem, S; Schmied, B; Nussbaum, DP; Gloor, B; Müller, SA; Blazer, D; Worni, M

Published Date

  • February 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 405 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 43 - 54

PubMed ID

  • 32040705

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1435-2451

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00423-020-01859-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany