Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its burden is destined to increase. Multimodal treatment is crucial to achieve a cure, but standardization is far to come. Borderline resectable disease is the most challenging situation to face. An anatomically resectable disease may hide a biologically aggressive or undiagnosed systemic disease. Whether the patient has to undergo surgery first or after locoregional or systemic therapy is still unknown. Decision-making stands on low-quality evidences since RCTs are lacking. Neoadjuvant treatment may downstage the tumor and treat an early systemic disease, selecting patients for surgery in order to achieve a margin-free resection and avoid early recurrences and useless pancreatectomies. Resectable patients without other worrisome features may benefit from a surgery-first approach, while all other nonmetastatic patients should be enrolled in trials to rule out the outcomes of neoadjuvant treatments.
Part of the book: Advances in Pancreatic Cancer