Rationale and Objectives: To identify if body composition, assessed with preoperative CT-based visceral fat ratio quantification as well as tumor metabolic gene expression, predicts sex-dependent overall survival (OS) in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of preoperative CT in 98 male and 107 female patients with PDAC. Relative visceral fat (rVFA; visceral fat normalized to total fat) was measured automatically using software and corrected manually. Median and optimized rVFA thresholds were determined according to published methods. Kaplan Meier and log-rank tests were used to estimate OS. Multivariate models were developed to identify interactions between sex, rVFA, and OS. Unsupervised gene expression analysis of PDAC tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) was performed to identify metabolic pathways with similar survival patterns to rVFA. Results: Optimized preoperative rVFA threshold of 38.9% predicted significantly different OS in females with a median OS of 15 months (above threshold) vs 24 months (below threshold; p = 0.004). No significant threshold was identified in males. This female-specific significance was independent of age, stage, and presence of chronic pancreatitis (p = 0.02). Tumor gene expression analysis identified female-specific stratification from a five-gene signature of glutathione S-transferases. This was observed for PDAC as well as clear cell renal carcinoma and glioblastoma. Conclusion: CT-based assessments of visceral fat can predict pancreatic cancer OS in females. Glutathione S-transferase expression in tumors predicts female-specific OS in a similar fashion.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademic radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Metabolism
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Sex differences
  • Visceral fat


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