Background: Nutritional derangements are common hallmarks of pancreatic cancer (PC). Their early detection and management are usually overlooked in routine practice. This study aimed to explore preoperative nutritional status and its prognostic value in patients undergoing surgery for PC. Methods: Data from 73 patients who underwent surgery for PC from November 2015 to January 2018 at the General and Pancreatic Surgery Unit, The Pancreas Institute, University Hospital of Verona Hospital, Verona, Italy, were retrospectively evaluated. The Nutritional Risk Screening (NRS)-2002 was used to evaluate the preoperative nutritional risk. Body composition was assessed using bioimpedance vectorial analysis (BIVA) on the day prior to surgery. The effect of clinical, pathological, and nutritional characteristics on overall survival (OS) was investigated using a Cox and logistic regression model. Kaplan–Meier curves were compared using the log-rank test. Results: Most patients (80.8%) were at preoperative risk of malnutrition (NRS-2002 ≥ 3) despite a mean BMI of 24.1 kg/m2(± 4.3). Twenty-four patients (32.9%) received neoadjuvant therapy prior to surgery. Preoperative NRS-2002 was significantly higher in this subset of patients (p = 0.026), with a significant difference by chemotherapy regimens (in favor of FOLFIRINOX, p = 0.035). In a multivariate analysis, the only independent prognostic factor for OS was the NRS-2002 score (HR 5.24, p = 0.013). Particularly, the likelihood of 2-year survival was higher in NRS < 3 (p = 0.009). Conclusions: Our analysis confirms that preoperative malnutrition has a detrimental impact on OS in PC patients undergoing radical surgery for PC. Careful preoperative nutritional evaluation of PC patients should be mandatory, especially in those who are candidates for neoadjuvant therapy.
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