The clinical course of patients with carcinoma of the pancreas, especially of the body-tail, remains dismal despite recent advances in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. We present three case reports to evaluate the role of the Appleby operation in the treatment of pancreatic body-tail cancer. Care 1 was a 55-year-old Japanese woman who underwent the Appleby operation for mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the body and tail of the pancreas invading the stomach, celiac axis, superior mesenteric and splenic arteries, and the splenic, superior mesenteric, and portal veins. Local recurrence and peritoneal dissemination with malignant ascites were found 7 months later and she died 10 months after the operation. Case 2 was a 61-year-old Japanese man who underwent the Appleby operation with 20Gy radiation therapy for invasive ductal carcinoma of the body of the pancreas involving the celiac axis, common hepatic, splenic, and left gastric arteries, and the splenic vein. Peritoneal dissemination with malignant ascites was evident 5 months later and he died 14 months after the operation. Case 3 was a 50-year-old Japanese man who underwent the Appleby operation with 20Gy radiation therapy for invasive ductal carcinoma of the body of the pancreas invading the stomach, splenic artery, celiac axis, and splenic vein. Multiple hepatic metastases were found 2 months later and the patient died 8 months after the operation. Based on our experience of these three cases, we conclude that the indications for the Appleby operation to treat locally advanced pancreatic body carcinoma are still limited because it does not improve quality of life or clinical outcome.
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