Robotic versus Open Pancreatoduodenectomy for Pancreatic and Periampullary Tumors (PORTAL): a study protocol for a multicenter phase III non-inferiority randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background: Pancreatoduodenectomy is a complex and challenging procedure that requires meticulous tissue dissection and proficient suturing skills. Minimally invasive surgery with the utilization of robotic platforms has demonstrated advantages in perioperative patient outcomes in retrospective studies. The development of robotic pancreatoduodenectomy (RPD) in specific has progressed significantly, since first reported in 2003, and high-volume centers in pancreatic surgery are reporting large patient series with improved pain management and reduced length of stay. However, prospective studies to assess objectively the feasibility and safety of RPD compared to open pancreatoduodenectomy (OPD) are currently lacking. Methods/design: The PORTAL trial is a multicenter randomized controlled, patient-blinded, parallel-group, phase III non-inferiority trial performed in seven high-volume centers for pancreatic and robotic surgery in China (> 20 RPD and > 100 OPD annually in each participating center). The trial is designed to enroll and randomly assign 244 patients with an indication for elective pancreatoduodenectomy for malignant periampullary and pancreatic lesions, as well as premalignant and symptomatic benign periampullary and pancreatic disease. The primary outcome is time to functional recovery postoperatively, measured in days. Secondary outcomes include postoperative morbidity and mortality, as well as perioperative costs. A sub-cohort of 128 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) will also be compared to assess the percentage of patients who undergo postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy within 8 weeks, in each arm. Secondary outcomes in this cohort will include patterns of disease recurrence, recurrence-free survival, and overall survival. Discussion: The PORTAL trial is designed to assess the feasibility and safety of RPD compared to OPD, in terms of functional recovery as described previously. Additionally, this trial will explore whether RPD allows increased access to postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, in a sub-cohort of patients with PDAC. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT04400357. Registered on May 22, 2020.

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Jin, J., Shi, Y., Chen, M., Qian, J., Qin, K., Wang, Z., … Shen, B. (2021). Robotic versus Open Pancreatoduodenectomy for Pancreatic and Periampullary Tumors (PORTAL): a study protocol for a multicenter phase III non-inferiority randomized controlled trial. Trials, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05939-6

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