Published in The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists 2 2015, Vol.122, 317-324. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000000489
Authors: Tyler R. Call, M.D et al
Background: Several retrospective studies suggest that perioperative care and anesthetic management for cancer resection may influence cancer recurrence or patient survival. Various intraoperative techniques such as paravertebral blocks, decreased opioid use, immunomodulation, and perioperative antiinflammatory administration, have previously been assessed for improved patient survival. The aim of this study was to assess associations between perioperative management and survival in patients undergoing resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Methods: Survival data and anesthetic records for 144 patients who had surgical resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma from 2001 to 2012 were obtained and associations were sought between survival and 19 predefined variables. The authors performed a propensity weighted multivariable statistical analysis using Cox proportional hazards.
Results: Median length of survival was 562 days with 95% confidence interval (471, 680). In a multivariable Cox proportional hazard model of survival, the authors found increased survival in patients who received perioperative epidural analgesia and/or intraoperative dexamethasone. There was a 44% hazard ratio reduction, hazard ratio = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (0.38, 0.87), with dexamethasone. Adjuvant postoperative chemotherapy was associated with longer survival. A decrease in survival was noted in patients who received intraoperative blood transfusions, had poorer histologic grade, and advanced tumor stage.
Conclusions: The authors report an association between perioperative dexamethasone administration and improved survival in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients. An association between use of epidural anesthesia during primary pancreatic cancer surgery and prolonged survival was also observed. Previously identified associations between perioperative blood transfusions and poor tumor histologic grade and decreased survival were confirmed. Further investigations regarding the use of perioperative dexamethasone and neuraxial anesthesia in this patient population are warranted.