Author(s): Benson D, Barnett CC Jr
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Abstract Complex abdominal procedures to extirpate malignancies are often associated with blood transfusion. In particular, perioperative transfusion rates for pancreaticoduodenectomy can be as high as 75\%. In the early 1970s it was shown that blood transfusions likely had immunomodulating effects as renal allografts were found to have longer survival in patients who received multiple transfusions. Subsequently, it has been suggested that blood transfusions may promote cancer progression. Many retrospective series have supported this hypothesis, and recent studies examining long-term survival in patients undergoing "Whipple" procedures suggests that transfusion is a negative prognostic factor. Despite these studies, the claim that transfusion is a simple surrogate for patient health, tumor size, location, and biology are difficult to refute. The use of syngeneic murine models has allowed many confounding variables to be controlled, and suggest that transfusion does indeed promote pancreas cancer progression. Based on these findings, as well as the continued need for blood transfusion, alternate strategies in transfusion management are warranted. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Surg Res
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research