BACKGROUND: Some adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy could be important for patients operated on for tumours of the ampulla of Vater, especially for those having a higher risk of recurrence. AIM: To evaluate prognostic factors after curative surgery based on a series of 45 cases of malignant tumours of the Oddi sphincter. PATIENTS: From 1970 to 1992, a curative resection was performed in 45 patients (age 62.8 (SD 10.1) years) with adenocarcinoma of the ampulla. Surgical procedures included pancreatoduodenectomy (n = 42) and resection of the ampulla (n = 3). Actuarial survival was 44 (SD 9)% at five years. METHODS: Various prognostic variables were studied: clinical manifestations, macroscopic aspect, differentiation, noninvasive adenomatous component, mucin histochemistry, immunohistochemistry (CEA, CA19.9, p53, Ki67), and accepted classifications (Blumgart and Kennedy, Martin, Yamaguchi and Enjoji, Talbot et al, pTNM). RESULTS: Variables with prognostic power, in order of importance were: Classification of Talbot et al; CA19.9; pTNM; sialomucins; classification of Yamaguchi and Ejoji; Martin classification; sulphomucins; non-invasive adenomatous component (positive > negative); jaundice; tumour localisation. CONCLUSIONS: This series confirmed the prognostic power of former classifications and showed the prognostic power of other variables (mucin, non-invasive adenomatous component, CA19.9).
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