Background and objectives: A postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) is a critical complication after surgery for pancreatic cancer. Whether a POPF affects the long-term prognosis of pancreatic cancer cases remains controversial. This study aimed to clarify the effect of a POPF on the long-term prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients, especially after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NACRT). Methods: Patients who underwent curative pancreatectomy for pancreatic cancer between January 2012 and June 2019 at Kyoto University Hospital were retrospectively investigated. A fistula ≥ Grade B was considered a POPF. Results: During the study period, 148 patients underwent upfront surgery (Upfront group), and 52 patients underwent surgery after NACRT (NACRT group). A POPF developed in 16% of patients in the Upfront group and 13% in the NACRT group (p = 0.824). In the Upfront group, development of a POPF did not have a significant effect on recurrence-free survival (p = 0.766) or overall survival (p = 0.863). However, in the NACRT group, development of a POPF significantly decreased recurrence-free survival (HR 5.856, p = 0.002) and overall survival (HR 7.097, p = 0.020) on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: The development of a POPF decreases the survival of pancreatic cancer patients treated by surgery after NACRT.
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