Background: Pancreatectomy has a high morbidity but remains the only chance of cure for pancreatic cancer. Its efficacy for non-pancreatic malignancies is less clear. We reviewed our experience with pancreatectomy for non-pancreatic malignancies to determine outcomes and identify predictors of survival. Patients and methods: The records of patients who underwent pancreatectomy for non-pancreatic malignancies between 1990 and 2005 were reviewed. Survival curves were constructed using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using log-rank analysis. Cox proportional hazards was used to identify predictors of survival. Results: 29 patients (18 M/11 F) with a mean age of 59.9 years (range 29-86) underwent pancreatectomy for non-pancreatic malignancies. 19 (66%) primary malignancies were GI in origin. Most operations were undertaken with curative intent (76%), whereas the remainder was for symptom palliation. Pancreatectomy was completed for metastatic disease in 7 patients (24%) or en bloc to achieve negative margins in 22 patients (76%). Complete (i.e., R0) resection was achieved in 17 (59%). Perioperative mortality was 3%. Median follow-up was 15 months (range 7-172). Median overall survival was 12 months with 1-year survival of 48%. Significant predictors of improved survival by univariate analysis were R0 resection, non-GI primary, and pancreatic metastasectomy (vs. en bloc resection). Only R0 resection was predictive of long-term survival by multivariate analysis (median 21 months vs. 6). Conclusion: Pancreatic resection for non-pancreatic malignancies can be completed with minimal mortality. However, incomplete resection results in poor overall survival. Pancreatectomy for non-pancreatic malignancies should only be undertaken if complete resection is possible.
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