Short- and Long-Term Survival in Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, 1993–2013

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Background: During the past 2 decades, numerous clinical trials have focused on improving outcomes in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (mPDAC). The efficacy of new treatments has been demonstrated among highly selected patients in randomized phase III trials; hence, it is not clear to what extent these advances are reflected within the broader mPDAC population. Materials and Methods: Survival statistics were extracted from the SEER database for patients diagnosed with mPDAC between 1993 and 2013. Survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and proportional hazard models. Results: The study population consisted of 57,263 patients diagnosed with mPDAC between 1993 and 2013; 52% were male, with a median age of 69 years (range, 15–104). Superior prognosis correlated with younger age, being married, tumor located within the head of the pancreas, lower grade disease, and more recent year of diagnosis. Median overall survival (OS) remained stable at 2 months between 1993 and 2013. Improvements in OS were seen for younger patients (age <50 years) and those with a more recent year of diagnosis (2009–2013). The percentage of patients who died within 2 months of initial diagnosis decreased between 1993 and 2013 (from 63.5% to 50.6%; P<.0001). The percentage of patients surviving ≥12 months improved from 4.9% in 1993 to 12.7% in 2013 (P<.0001). Conclusions: In recent years a modest improvement in OS has been seen among younger patients with mPDAC. The percentage of patients living beyond 1 year has significantly increased over time; however, the percentage of those dying within 2 months remains substantial.

Author contributions: Conceptualization, methodology, software, formal analysis, investigation, resources, data curation, manuscript preparation, visualization: Golan (lead), Lawrence (lead), Sella, Urban. Validation, supervision, project administration: Golan, Lawrence. Manuscript review and editing: Golan (lead), Lawrence (lead), Sella, Urban, Margalit, Amit, Halpern, Aderka, Shacham-Shmueli.

Correspondence: Talia Golan, MD, Oncology Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer 52621 Israel. E-mail:

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