Neoadjuvant therapy is used for borderline resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with high risk of incomplete resection and early recurrence. Because distal PDAC is rare, the optimal criteria for neoadjuvant therapy specific for distal PDAC remain unclear. We hypothesized large distal PDAC would recur earlier than small distal PDAC.
The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors for failure of upfront resection for resectable distal PDAC.
The study cohort comprised 158 patients with resectable distal PDAC who underwent radical resection. The long-term outcomes were recurrence-free survival (RFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and post-recurrence survival (PRS).
R0 resection was achieved in 92% of patients, and median DSS for the entire cohort was 31 months. Among 103 patients who developed recurrence, 32 (31%) developed recurrence within 6 months. The median PRS and DSS for those with early recurrence was 6 and 10 months, respectively, compared with 11 and 30 months, respectively, for those with late recurrence (p = 0.017 and p  4 cm had higher rates of R1 resection (16%) and concomitant resection of another organ (19%) than those with smaller tumors (4% and 2%, p = 0.009 and p  4 cm remained a significant predictor of early recurrence (p < 0.001, hazard ratio [HR] 6.51), shorter RFS (p = 0.018, HR 1.71), and shorter DSS (p = 0.002, HR 2.07).
Tumor size > 4 cm is a reliable predictor of early recurrence after resection of distal PDAC, and neoadjuvant therapy may help select patients who can benefit from radical resection.

© 2021. Society of Surgical Oncology.