Decreased serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels after neoadjuvant therapy predict a better prognosis for patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a multicenter case-control study of 240 patients

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Background Carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19–9 levels after resection are considered to predict prognosis; however, the significance of decreased CA19–9 levels after neoadjuvant therapy has not been clarified. This study aimed to define the prognostic significance of decreased CA19–9 levels after neoadjuvant therapy in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Methods Between 2001 and 2012, 240 consecutive patients received neoadjuvant therapy and subsequent resection at seven high-volume institutions in Japan. These patients were divided into three groups: Normal group (no elevation [≤37 U/ml] before and after neoadjuvant therapy), Responder group (elevated levels [> 37 U/ml] before neoadjuvant therapy but decreased levels [≤37 U/ml] afterwards), and Non-responder group (elevated levels [> 37 U/ml] after neoadjuvant therapy). Analyses of overall survival and recurrence patterns were performed. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to clarify the clinicopathological factors influencing overall survival. The initial metastasis sites were also evaluated in these groups. Results The Responder group received a better prognosis than the Non-responder group (3-year overall survival: 50.6 and 41.6%, respectively, P=0.026), but the prognosis was comparable to the Normal group (3-year overall survival: 54.2%, P=0.934). According to the analysis of the receiver operating characteristic curve, the CA19–9 cut-off level defined as no elevation after neoadjuvant therapy was ≤103 U/ml. The multivariate analysis revealed that a CA19–9 level ≤ 103 U/ml, (P=0.010, hazard ratio: 1.711; 95% confidence interval: 1.133–2.639), tumor size ≤27 mm (P=0.040, 1.517; (1.018–2.278)), a lack of lymph node metastasis (P=0.002, 1.905; (1.276–2.875)), and R0 status (P=0.045, 1.659; 1.012–2.627) were significant predictors of overall survival. Moreover, the Responder group showed a lower risk of hepatic recurrence (18%) compared to the Non-responder group (31%), though no significant difference in loco-regional, peritoneal or other distant recurrence were observed between groups (P=0.058, P=0.700 and P=0.350, respectively). Conclusions Decreased CA19–9 levels after neoadjuvant therapy predicts a better prognosis, with low incidence of hepatic recurrence after surgery.


  • BMC Cancer

    BMC Cancer (19), 252, 2019-03-21



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