Background: The current staging system for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) includes information about size and local extension of the primary tumor (T stage). The value of incorporating any local tumor extension into pancreatic staging systems has been questioned because it often is difficult to evaluate tumor extension to the peri-pancreatic soft tissues and because most carcinomas of the head of the pancreas infiltrate the intra-pancreatic common bile duct. This study sought to evaluate the prognostic implications of having PDAC with local tumor extension. Methods: A single-institution, prospectively collected database of 1128 patients who underwent surgical resection for PDAC was queried to examine the prognostic significance of extra-pancreatic tumor involvement (“no involvement,” “duodenal involvement,” and “extensive involvement”; e.g., gastric, colon or major vein involvement). Results: The median overall survival for the patients without extra-pancreatic involvement was 26 months versus 19 months for the patients with duodenal involvement and 16 months for the patients with extensive involvement (p < 0.001). In the multivariable analysis, duodenal and extensive involvement independently predicted increased risk of death compared with no involvement (hazard ratio [HR] 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08–1.57 and 1.78; 95% CI 1.25–2.55, respectively). A multivariable model combining duodenal and extensive extra-pancreatic involvement, tumor grade, lymph node ratio, and other prognostic features had the highest c-index (0.67). Conclusions: Inclusion of duodenal involvement in the staging of PDAC adds independent prognostic information.
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