Management of Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

Amit Mahipal, Jessica Frakes, Sarah Hoffe, Richard Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Surgery remains the only curative option; however only 20% of the patients have resectable disease at the time of initial presentation. The definition of borderline resectable pancreatic cancer is not uniform but generally denotes to regional vessel involvement that makes it unlikely to have negative surgical margins. The accurate staging of pancreatic cancer requires triple phase computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the pancreas. Management of patients with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer remains unclear. The data for treatment of these patients is primarily derived from retrospective single institution experience. The prospective trials have been plagued by small numbers and poor accrual. Neoadjuvant therapy is recommended and typically consists of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The chemotherapeutic regimens continue to evolve along with type and dose of radiation therapy. Gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracil based chemotherapeutic combinations are administered. The type and dose of radiation vary among different institutions. With neoadjuvant treatment, approximately 50% of the patients are able to undergo surgical resections with patients. Newer trials are attempting to standardize the definition of borderline resectable pancreatic cancer and treatment regimens. In this review, we outline the definition, imaging requirements and management of patients with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 15 2015


  • Borderline
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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