Surgery for Localized Pancreatic Cancer: The Trend Is Not Improving

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The aim of this study was to examine the trend in the use of surgery for localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma for the past 2 decades using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.


We identified a cohort of patients who received a diagnosis of localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 1988 and 2010 in the United States. Univariate and multivariate methods were used to determine factors associated with not receiving surgery. Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to determine factors associated with survival.


Of 6742 patients with a diagnosis of localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 1715 patients (25.4%) underwent surgery. There was no significant change in use of surgery over time. Patients were less likely to undergo surgery if they were older than 50 years, black, unmarried, and located outside the East and had pancreatic head or body lesions, higher tumor grades, or tumor size greater than 2 cm (P < 0.0001). Receiving surgery had the most significant impact on the hazard of disease-specific death (hazards ratio, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.29–1.53; P < 0.0001).


In contrast to recent studies that suggest an increasing use of surgery, the present study demonstrates that there has been no change in the rate of use of surgery in patients with localized pancreatic disease.

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