BioScience Trends. 2021;15(6):365-373. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01459)

Neoadjuvant therapy vs. upfront surgery for resectable pancreatic cancer: An update on a systematic review and meta-analysis

Xu YY, Chen YZ, Han F, Wu J, Zhang YH


The effectiveness of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) remains controversial in the treatment of pancreatic cancer (PC). Therefore, this meta-analysis aimed to investigate the clinical differences between NAT and upfront surgery (US) in resectable pancreatic cancer (RPC). Eligible studies were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library. The endpoints assessed were R0 resection rate, pathological T stage < 2 rate, positive lymph node rate, and overall survival. A total of 4,588 potentially relevant studies were identified, and 13 studies were included in this study. In patients with RPC, this meta-analysis showed that NAT presented an increased R0 resection rate, pathological T stage < 2 rate, and a remarkably reduced positive lymph node rate compared to US. However, patients receiving NAT did not result in a significantly increased overall survival. These findings supported the application of NAT, especially as a patient selection strategy, in the management of RPC. Additional large clinical studies are needed to determine whether NAT is superior to US.

KEYWORDS: neoadjuvant therapy, resectable, pancreatic, neoplasm, prognosis

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