Background: Accumulation of evidence suggests that neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves the outcomes of borderline resectable pancreatic cancer (BRPC). Gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel (GnP) has been widely accepted as systemic chemotherapy for unresectable pancreatic cancer and reportedly results in remarkable tumor shrinkage. This study was performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy using neoadjuvant GnP for BRPC. Methods: The medical records of 57 patients who underwent treatment of BRPC from 2010 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. The patient characteristics and short- and intermediate-term outcomes were compared between the GnP and upfront surgery (UFS) groups. Results: The GnP group comprised 31 patients and the UFS group comprised 26 patients. The patient characteristics were comparable with the exception of a higher prevalence of arterial involvement in the GnP group. Twenty-seven of the 31 patients (87%) in the GnP group and all 26 patients in the UFS group underwent resection. The GnP group showed a significantly shorter operation time (429 vs. 509.5 min, p = 0.0068), less blood loss (760 vs. 1324 ml, p = 0.0115), and a higher R0 resection rate (100% vs. 77%, p = 0.0100) than the UFS group. Postoperative complications and hospital stay were comparable between the two groups, and no treatment-related mortality occurred in either group. Both the disease-free survival and overall survival times were significantly longer in the GnP group (p = 0.0018 and p = 0.0024, respectively). Conclusions: Neoadjuvant GnP is a safe and effective treatment strategy for BRPC. It potentially improves patients’ prognosis and facilitates surgical procedures.
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