CHEMOTHERAPY treatment before and after surgery is the most effective combination for patients, according to new research by the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, USA.
The researchers, led by Marco Del Chiaro from the CU Department of Surgery, conducted a nationwide, retrospective study where they analysed the overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer who received adjuvant chemotherapy and those who did not. They used the data of almost 900 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma from the National Cancer Database who were diagnosed between 2010–2018.
Overall survival was significantly increased in the patients who had received adjuvant chemotherapy after receiving chemotherapy before surgery, compared to patients who did not receive this treatment. Furthermore, adjuvant chemotherapy was found to be associated with increased survival in patients with any pathological N stage and margin status.
All patients, regardless of their resection margins and lymph node status, saw improved overall survival after receiving chemotherapy treatment before and after surgery.
Del Chiaro noted: “The success of adjuvant chemotherapy used to be unclear, with varied data available for doctors to consider. Our study suggests that adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery should be implemented no matter the biological stage of the cancer.”
Toshitaka Sugawara, a visiting professor to the CU Cancer Center who led the research with Del Chiaro, and the team of researchers also investigated the interactions between pathological findings and adjuvant chemotherapy by using separate multivariable Cox regression models. The result of this study implies that adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery can also be of benefit to tumours with aggressive biology.
Sugawara concluded by stating the importance of the research: “It is important to continue to move forward research in pancreatic cancer care to improve the survival rate. By conducting the largest study of its kind and analysing data using multiple models, we are able to improve the knowledge in this paper for doctors and patients to inform their plans and help prolong survival in many cases.”