Objective: To evaluate the relation between delay in surgery because of preoperative biliary drainage (PBD) and survival in patients scheduled for surgery for pancreatic head cancer. Background: Patients with obstructive jaundice due to pancreatic head cancer can undergo PBD. The associated delay of surgery can lead to more advanced cancer stages at surgical exploration, affecting resection rate and survival. Methods: We conducted a multicenter, randomized controlled clinical trial to compare PBD with early surgery (ES) for pancreatic head cancer for complications. We obtained Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall survival for patients with pathology-proven malignancy and compared survival functions of ES and PBD groups using log-rank test statistics. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate the prognostic role of time to surgery for overall survival. Results: Mean times from randomization to surgery were 1.2 (0.9-1.5) and 5.1 (4.8-5.5) weeks in the ES and PBD groups, respectively (P < 0.001). In the ES group, 60 (67%) of 89 patients underwent resection, versus 53 (58%) of 91 patients in the PBD group (P = 0.20). Median survival after randomization was 12.2 (9.1-15.4) months in the ES group versus 12.7 (8.9-16.6) months in the PBD group (P = 0.91). A longer time to surgery was significantly associated with slightly lower mortality rate after surgery (hazard ratio = 0.90, 95% CI, 0.83-0.97), when taking into account resection, bilirubin, complications, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, tumor-positive lymph nodes, and microscopically residual disease. Conclusions: In patients with pancreatic head cancer, the delay in surgery associated with PBD does not impair or benefit survival rate. Copyright

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181fd36a2, hdl.handle.net/1765/26008
Eshuis, W.J., van der Gaag, N.A., Rauws, E.A., van Eijck, C.H.J., Bruno, M.J., Kuipers, E.J., … Gouma, D.J.. (2010). Therapeutic delay and survival after surgery for cancer of the pancreatic head with or without preoperative biliary drainage. Annals of Surgery, 252(5), 840–848. doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181fd36a2