J Gastrointest Surg. 2021 Mar 25. doi: 10.1007/s11605-021-04984-5. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The utilization of cancer-directed treatment for patients with all stages of pancreatic cancer in the USA is unknown. This study sought to examine national practice patterns and identify patient, hospital, regional, and other factors associated with disparities in the use of guideline-concordant cancer-directed therapy.
METHODS: Patients diagnosed with PDAC between 2004 and 2015 were queried from the National Cancer Data Base. Standard of care cancer-directed treatment was defined as surgical resection plus chemotherapy or chemoradiation for patients with stage 1 and 2 disease, chemotherapy for patients with metastatic disease (stage 4), and chemotherapy with or without surgery or chemoradiation for patients with locally advanced stage 3 disease.
RESULTS: A total of 336,629 patients with stage 1 (n = 38,443, 11.4%), stage 2 (n = 93,923, 27.9%), stage 3 (n = 37,492, 11.1%), or stage 4 metastatic (n = 166,771, 49.5%) disease were identified. Adherence with stage-specific standard of care treatment occurred in only 45.3% (n = 152,560) of patients among the entire cohort and varied by stage of disease (stage 1: 14.6% vs. stage 2: 39.9% vs. stage 3: 67.6%, vs. stage 4: 50.9%). Older age (OR 0.95, 95%CI 0.94-0.95; p < 0.001), female sex (OR 0.94, 95%CI 0.943-0.97; p < 0.001), African Americans (OR 0.89, 95%CI 0.87-0.91; P < 0.001), and increasing comorbidity burden (Charlson-Deyo score ≥3: OR 0.52, 95%CI 0.50-0.55; P < 0.001) were associated with a lower likelihood of receiving stage-specific standard of care treatment. Conversely, treatment at a high-volume center (quartile 4: OR: 1.13, 95%CI 1.10-1.16; P < 0.001) and higher education level (OR 1.32, 95%CI 1.28-1.36; p < 0.001) was associated with higher likelihood of receiving stage-specific standard of care treatment. Patients who received standard of care treatment had a 47% lower risk of death compared with patients who did not receive standard of care treatment (HR 0.53, 95%CI 0.52-0.53; P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is a complex disease requiring a multi-disciplinary approach for optimal outcomes. Receipt of stage-specific standard of care treatment for PDAC is associated with improved long-term oncological outcomes, but is only achieved in less than half of patients. Further studies are needed to evaluate interventions to address these treatment disparities for patients with PDAC.