Septic complications are an important determinant of postoperative outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer. However, preoperative risk stratification is not routinely available, and therefore the onset of treatment is usually late. In this elegant study, Takahashi and his colleagues suggested that low numbers of circulating DCs, which are important for immune surveillance, was a risk factor for developing septic complications after pancreatectomy. The availability of this method provides us with a relatively easy way to preoperatively anticipate the occurrence of postoperative infectious complications, which may allow for the development of novel therapeutic strategies designed to stimulate host defense mechanisms and to reduce the incidence and severity of septic complications.
Zhou W. Circulating Dendritic Cells and Development of Septic Complications After Pancreatectomy for Pancreatic Cancer—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2007;142(12):1157. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.12.1157