Background: Surgical resection with adjuvant chemotherapy is the only treatment that can provide long term survival in localized pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (LPDAC). Notwithstanding, recurrence occurs in the vast majority of patients and a better stratification of preoperative therapies is required. This study aimed to investigate preoperative immunological and nutritional factors to predict relapse-free survival (RFS) in patients with LPDAC.
Methods: Analyses were derived from all consecutive LPDAC patients treated with surgical resection at Besancon University Hospital, France, between January 2006 and December 2014 (n=146). Biological and nutritional parameters were recorded before and after surgery. The association of 24 baseline parameters with RFS was evaluated using univariate and multivariate Cox analyses. Based on the final model, a prognostic score was developed.
Results: Lymphocyte count and body composition were available for 94 patients. In multivariate analysis, preoperative lymphopenia and sarcopenia (or a low muscle mass) were identified as independent prognostic factors for RFS. The score determined three groups with a median RFS of 5.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.3 to 9.6 months) for high-risk group, corresponding to patients with lymphopenia; 11.5 months (95%CI = 9.8 to 13.9 months), and 21.2 months (95%CI = 9.9 to 55.3 months), for intermediate-(patient with sarcopenia without lymphopenia), and low-risk groups (no risk factor), respectively (p <0.001). Preoperative sarcopenia predicts the occurrence of postoperative lymphopenia in patients with a preoperative lymphocyte count above 1,000/mm3 (p = 0.0029).
Conclusions: Preoperative lymphopenia and sarcopenia are pejorative prognostic factors in LPDAC and should be considered in the preoperative evaluation to stratify death risk in patients with LPDAC.
Keywords: lymphopenia; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; preoperative; prognostic factor; sarcopenia.