Immunonutrition is administered to improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing surgery. However, its effect and mechanism of action remain unclear. Therefore, we conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to assess its effects on postoperative outcome and the immune system. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were identified and data extracted by two reviewers independently from electronic databases from their inception to 31 October 2019. The result was expressed as the risk ratio (RR) for categorical variables and mean difference (MD) for continuous variables with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Six RCTs published from 1999 and 2016, with a total of 368 patients, were included. The results revealed that immunonutrition significantly decreased the rate of infectious complications (RR = 0.47, 95% CI (0.23, 0.94), p = 0.03) and the length of hospital stay (MD = −1.90, 95% CI (−3.78, −0.02), p = 0.05) by modulating the immune system, especially in preoperative group in subgroup analysis. We therefore recommend that patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing surgery could take the advantage of immunonutrition, especially in the preoperative period.
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