Resection margins and R1 rates in pancreatic cancer – are we there yet?

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The prognosis of pancreatic cancer is poor, even for those patients who undergo surgical resection. The rate of local recurrence is high, despite the fact that in most series complete (‘R0’) resection is reported to be achieved in the majority of patients. The discrepancy between pathological assessment and clinical outcome indicates that microscopic margin involvement (R1) is frequently underreported, and potential causes for this are discussed in this review. Special emphasis is given to the variation that exists between currently used dissection techniques and their impact on the assessment of the resection margins in pancreatoduodenectomy specimens.

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