Studies demonstrate safety and survival benefits of surgical resection in older individuals with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We investigated treatment disparities by age.Methods
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database for survival and treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 1983 and 2007 stratified by age: younger than 50 years, between 50 and 70 years, or older than 70 years. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models were used for survival differences, and logistic regression models were used for treatment disparities and the decision to refuse surgery.Results
A total of 45,509 patients had microscopically confirmed pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Of these, 7374 (16%) received surgery and 9842 (22%) received radiation. Younger patients were more likely to receive both surgery and radiation. The prevalence of surgery decreased from 21% for those younger than 50 years to 19% for those between 50 and 70 years to 13% for those older than 70 years (P < 0.001). Radiation decreased from 28% to 25% to 17% (P < 0.001). Overall survival decreased with increasing age at diagnosis, 10.4 months (age <50 years) to 9.1 months (age 50–70 years) to 6.4 months (age >70 years) controlling for stage, sex, race, radiation, and surgery (P < 0.001). Increasing age negatively predicted the odds of receiving both surgery and radiation and increased the likelihood of refusing surgery.Conclusions
Treatment disparities exist by age despite advances in radiation and surgical treatment. Increased treatment in the elderly will increase overall survival from pancreatic adenocarcinoma.