Masahiko Hirota, Michio Ogawa, Hiroshi Egami, Shinya Shimada, Kenichiro Yamamoto, Eiji Tanaka, Hiroki Sugita
Context In pancreatic cancer, even for patients who have undergone curative resection (R0), survival analysis has revealed a poor survival rate due to cancer recurrence. Because the operation itself might have caused the dissemination of these cancer cells, the no-touch isolation technique and extensive intraoperative peritoneal lavage may be a potential operative procedure for improving the outcome. Patients Eight patients treated by the notouch isolation technique were compared with 10 patients treated using conventional techniques. Main outcome measures Cancer cell detection rates in the portal venous blood, frequency of recurrence, and survival rate. We also analyzed the lymphatic fluid squeezed from the resected cancerous pancreatic tissue. Results In 5 out of 10 cases (50%) in the conventional procedure group, CEA mRNA was identified in the portal blood after tumor manipulation, while only 1 out of 8 cases (13%) in the no-touch isolation technique group was positive for portal CEA mRNA. All lymphatic fluid samples squeezed from the resected cancerous pancreatic tissue were positive (8/8) for CEA mRNA. The recurrence rate was 90% (9/10) in the conventional procedure group, and 38% (3/8) in the no-touch isolation technique group (P=0.043). In the conventional procedure group, hepatic metastasis, local recurrence, peritoneal dissemination, and extraabdominal recurrence were identified in 6 (60%), 4 (40%), 4 (40%), and 2 patients (20%), respectively. On the other hand, among the no-touch isolation technique group, recurrence was identified in 1 (13%), 1 (13%), 0 (0%), and 1 patient (13%), respectively. There was no peritoneal dissemination along with the decreased hepatic recurrence rate. Mean (±SEM) survival time was 21.2±5.8 months for the conventional procedure group and 41.5±5.6 months for the no-touch isolation technique group (P=0.018). The 3-year survival rate was 12.5±11.5% for the conventional procedure group and 75.0±21.7% for the no-touch isolation technique group. Conclusion This study presented the potential of cancer dissemination during the intraoperative manipulation of tumors and its contribution to cancer recurrence, as well as the significance of the no-touch isolation technique and extensive intraoperative peritoneal lavage for pancreatic cancer surgery.