Impact of Intraoperative Re-resection to Achieve R0 Status on Survival in Patients With Pancreatic Cancer: A Single-center Experience With 483 Patients

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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.


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).


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.


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).


FS analysis with intraoperative re-resection should be performed routinely in patients undergoing pancreatic cancer surgery with the aim to achieve a R0 resection.

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