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Margins Important After Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Last Updated: April 28, 2009.

Patients with pancreatic cancer have better long-term survival after surgery if the resected tumor has a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm, according to a study published online ahead of print April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pancreatic cancer have better long-term survival after surgery if the resected tumor has a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm, according to a study published online ahead of print April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

David K. Chang, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues examined the association between the degree of surgical margin clearance and long-term survival in 365 patients who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer.

The researchers found that patients whose resection margins showed microscopic involvement of tumor had a poorer prognosis. Patients with a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm had optimal long-term survival, according to the study.

"These data demonstrate that a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm is important for long-term survival in a subgroup of patients," Chang and colleagues conclude. "More aggressive therapeutic approaches that target locoregional disease such as radiotherapy may be beneficial in patients with close surgical margins."

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