The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that intraoperative frozen section (FS) and re-resection results to achieve R0 status are associated with different long-term outcomes in pancreatic cancer patients.Background:
Recent data have challenged the survival benefit of additional resection in patients with pancreatic cancer in case of positive FS to achieve clear pathological section (PS).Methods:
Patients who underwent surgery for exocrine pancreatic malignancy with curative intent were identified from a prospective database. Data were stratified by resection margin (group I: FS-R0 → PS-R0; group II: FS-R1 → PS-R0; group III: FS-R1 → PS-R1). Associations with survival were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses.Results:
A total of 483 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 61 patients were excluded due to R2 or Rx status. Three hundred seventeen (75%) patients were allocated to margin group I, 32 (8%) to group II, and 73 (17%) to group III. Median overall survival in group I, II, and III was 29, 36, and 12 months (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in survival between patients in Group I and II (P = 0.849), whereas patients in group III had significantly poorer outcome than group I (P < 0.001) and II (P = 0.039). The prognostic value of margin group status was confirmed on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio = 1.694, 95% confidence interval 1.175–2.442).Conclusions:
FS analysis with intraoperative re-resection should be performed routinely in patients undergoing pancreatic cancer surgery with the aim to achieve a R0 resection.