Historically, the clinical staging of pancreatic cancer has centered on the surgical management of the primary tumor, because few effective chemotherapeutic agents were available and long-term survival was only achieved in the context of surgical resection. Such a strategy of complete oncologic surgical care is reasonable when surgery is both the principal therapy and highly effective. However, complex surgery for pancreatic cancer-often performed in older patients after a lengthy period of induction therapy-can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The majority of patients with pancreatic cancer present either locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. In this article, we will discuss the role of multimodality management of patients with borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreatic cancer. Considering that surgery has a modest impact on the natural history of pancreatic cancer in most patients, a neoadjuvant approach to treatment sequencing is favored for patients with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer, and this same rationale has been extended to select patients with locally advanced disease who demonstrate an exceptional response to induction therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy