Improving prediction of surgical resectability over current staging guidelines in patients with pancreatic cancer who receive stereotactic body radiation therapy

Zhi Cheng, Lauren M. Rosati, Linda Chen, Omar Y. Mian, Yilin Cao, Marta Villafania, Minoru Nakatsugawa, Joseph A. Moore, Scott P. Robertson, Juan Jackson, Amy Hacker-Prietz, Jin He, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Matthew J. Weiss, Joseph M. Herman, Amol K. Narang, Todd R. McNutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: For patients with localized pancreatic cancer (PC) with vascular involvement, prediction of resectability is critical to define optimal treatment. However, the current definitions of borderline resectable (BR) and locally advanced (LA) disease leave considerable heterogeneity in outcomes within these classifications. Moreover, factors beyond vascular involvement likely affect the ability to undergo resection. Herein, we share our experience developing a model that incorporates detailed radiologic, patient, and treatment factors to predict surgical resectability in patients with BR and LA PC who undergo stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Methods and materials: Patients with BR or LA PC who were treated with SBRT between 2010 and 2016 were included. The primary endpoint was margin negative resection, and predictors included age, sex, race, treatment year, performance status, initial staging, tumor volume and location, baseline and pre-SBRT carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels, chemotherapy regimen and duration, and radiation dose. In addition, we characterized the relationship between tumors and key arteries (superior mesenteric, celiac, and common hepatic arteries), using overlap volume histograms derived from computed tomography data. A classification and regression tree was built, and leave-one-out cross-validation was performed. Prediction of surgical resection was compared between our model and staging in accordance with the National Comprehensive Care Network guidelines using McNemar's test. Results: A total of 191 patients were identified (128 patients with LA and 63 with BR), of which 87 patients (46%) underwent margin negative resection. The median total dose was 33 Gy. Predictors included the chemotherapy regimen, amount of arterial involvement, and age. Importantly, radiation dose that covers 95% of gross tumor volume (GTV D95), was a key predictor of resectability in certain subpopulations, and the model showed improved accuracy in the prediction of margin negative resection compared with National Comprehensive Care Network guideline staging (75% vs 63%; P <.05). Conclusions: We demonstrate the ability to improve prediction of surgical resectabiliy beyond the current staging guidelines, which highlights the value of assessing vascular involvement in a continuous manner. In addition, we show an association between radiation dose and resectability, which suggests the potential importance of radiation to allow for resection in certain populations. External data are needed for validation and to increase the robustness of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-610
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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