Trends in the Treatment of Resectable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
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Multiple prospective, randomized trials have demonstrated that the addition of adjuvant therapy after surgical resection of pancreatic cancer improves survival compared to surgery alone. However, the optimal type of adjuvant therapy, chemotherapy alone, or chemotherapy combined with chemoradiation therapy remains controversial. Our aim was to examine the treatment trends for surgically resectable (stages I and II) pancreatic cancer in the USA using the National Cancer Database.
The National Cancer Database (NCDB) is a national oncology outcomes database for over 1,500 Commission on Cancer accredited cancer programs. Patients diagnosed with stage I–II pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 2003 and 2010 were selected from the NCDB Hospital Comparison Benchmark Reports. Attention was paid to the initial treatment regimen, such as surgery alone, surgery plus chemotherapy, or surgery plus chemoradiation. In addition, data on hospital setting (teaching hospitals vs. community hospitals) were collected and analyzed. The Cochran–Armitage test for trend was used to assess changes in treatment over time.
Fifty-nine thousand ninety-four patients with stage I–II pancreatic adenocarcinoma were included in the analysis. Between 2003 and 2010, the use of surgery alone as first course treatment of stage II disease decreased significantly at both teaching hospitals and community hospitals among patients who underwent surgery (P < 0.0001 for both cases). In the same period, the use of chemotherapy in addition to surgery as treatment of stage I and II disease increased at least twofold at both hospital settings (P < 0.0001 for all cases). Treatment with surgery plus chemoradiation decreased significantly for both stages in both hospital settings (P < 0.0001 for all cases). Nonsurgical treatment for stage II disease was surprisingly high and significantly increased over time (P < 0.001 for both hospital types), ranging from approximately 30–37 % at teaching hospitals and 39–47 % at community hospitals.
Data from the NCDB from 2003 to 2010 illustrate changes in the adjuvant treatment of pancreatic cancer. The use of chemotherapy alone as adjuvant therapy increased whereas the use of multimodality therapy decreased. In addition, there remains an alarmingly high rate of nonsurgical therapy for stage I and II disease.
KeywordsPancreatic cancer Surgery Adjuvant therapy
The author (SR) would like to thank the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for providing support with the Dean’s Summer Research Award for first-year medical students.
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