Long-Term Survivors of Pancreatic Cancer: A California Population-Based Study


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Abstract

ObjectivesPancreatic cancer continues to carry a poor prognosis with survival rates that have had minimal improvement over the past 4 decades. We report a population-based, comprehensive analysis of long-term survivors of pancreatic adenocarcinoma diagnosed in the diverse population of California.MethodsData from the California Cancer Registry were used to evaluate long-term survival. A total of 70,442 patients diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 1988 and 2009 were identified. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with achieving 5-year survival.ResultsThe overall 5-year survival was 2.5%, with minimal incremental improvements throughout the 3 decades. Age, stage, degree of differentiation, and surgical resection were associated with 5-year survival. Furthermore, younger age and receiving care at a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center were similarly correlated with 5-year survival regardless of surgical intervention. In addition, we identified stage, differentiation, and adjuvant chemotherapy as significant factors for long-term survival in surgically resected patients. In the unresectable patients, Asian/Pacific islanders and Hispanics were significantly more likely to reach the 5-year milestone than non-Hispanic whites.ConclusionsAlthough pancreatic cancer mortality remains high, our study highlights baseline characteristics, treatment, biological factors, and ethnicity that are associated with long-term survival. These findings may serve as a springboard for further investigation.

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