Is resection of periampullary or pancreatic adenocarcinoma with synchronous hepatic metastasis justified?


  • Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 18–22, 2007.



To date, no consensus has been reached regarding which primary tumor subtypes are managed appropriately with hepatic metastectomy. Specifically, the role of hepatic resection for metastatic periampullary or pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains controversial.


Between 1995 and 2005, 1563 patients underwent surgical resection for periampullary carcinoma (n = 608 patients) or pancreatic adenocarcinoma (head, n = 905 patients; tail, n = 50 patients). Data on demographics, operative details, primary tumor status, and—when indicated—extent of hepatic metastasis were collected.


Of the 1563 patients who underwent resection of periampullary or pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 22 patients (1.4%) underwent simultaneous hepatic resection for synchronous liver metastasis. The primary tumor site was ampullary (n = 1 patient ), duodenal (n = 2 patients), distal bile duct (n = 2 patients), or pancreas (head, n = 10 patients; tail, n = 7 patients). The majority of patients (86.4%) had a solitary hepatic metastasis, and the median size of the largest lesion was 0.6 cm. Hepatic metastectomy included wedge resection (n = 20 patients), segmentectomy (n = 1 patient), and hemihepatectomy (n = 1 patient). After matching patients on primary tumor histology and location, the median survival of patients who underwent hepatic resection of synchronous metastasis was 5.9 months compared with 5.6 months for patients who underwent palliative bypass alone (P = .46) and 14.2 months for patients with no metastatic disease who underwent primary tumor resection only (P < .001). Pancreatic (median, 5.9 months) versus nonpancreatic (median, 9.9 months) primary tumor histology was not associated with a difference in survival in patients who underwent resection of synchronous liver metastasis (P = .43).


Even in well selected patients with low-volume metastatic liver disease, simultaneous resection of periampullary or pancreatic carcinoma with synchronous liver metastases did not result in long-term survival in the overwhelming majority of patients. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.