Preoperative CA19-9 levels predict disease-free survival and overall survival in pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients after resection

Shasha Guan, Yang Chen, Quanli Han, Guochao Deng, Yanrong Wang, Yan Shi, Guanghai Dai


Background: This study investigates the association between the preoperative serum CA19-9 and the effects of adjuvant chemotherapy (CT), and its impact on survival in patients undergoing curative resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC).
Methods: From January 01, 2015 to June 30, 2017, we retrospectively reviewed 421 PAC patients who underwent radical resection. The association between preoperative CA19-9 and disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards model.
Results: A total of 354 patients eligible for this study were classified into three groups according to preoperative CA19-9: G1 (≤87 U/mL), G2 (87–322 U/mL) and G3 (>322 U/mL), in tertiles. Multivariable analysis showed preoperative CA19-9 and adjuvant CT were both independent predictors of DFS and OS. Subgroup analyses showed the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of DFS for patients treated with adjuvant CT were 0.54 (95% CI, 0.33–0.86), 0.63 (95% CI, 0.40–0.97) and 0.32 (95% CI, 0.21–0.49) in G1, G2 and G3, respectively. A trend of decreasing HR of recurrence risk was observed in the higher preoperative CA 19-9 group treated with CT.
Conclusions: High preoperative CA19-9 is an emerging biomarker that identifies a more aggressive PAC subgroup, which might benefit more from postoperative CT.