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Reith R. Sarkar, Katherine E. Fero, Daniel M. Seible, Neil Panjwani, Rayna K. Matsuno, and James D. Murphy

Background: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease characterized by early and relentless tumor spread, thus leading healthcare providers to consider it a “distant disease.” However, local pancreatic tumor progression can lead to substantial morbidity. This study defines the long-term morbidity from local and nonlocal disease progression in a large population-based cohort. Methods: A total of 21,500 Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000 through 2011 were identified. Hospitalizations were attributed to complications of either local disease (eg, biliary disorder, upper gastrointestinal ulcer/bleed, pain, pancreas-related, radiation toxicity) or nonlocal/distant disease (eg, thromboembolic events, cytopenia, dehydration, nausea/vomiting/motility problem, malnutrition and cachexia, ascites, pathologic fracture, and chemotherapy-related toxicity). Competing risk analyses were used to identify predictors of hospitalization. Results: Of the total cohort, 9,347 patients (43.5%) were hospitalized for a local complication and 13,101 patients (60.9%) for a nonlocal complication. After adjusting for the competing risk of death, the 12-month cumulative incidence of hospitalization from local complications was highest in patients with unresectable disease (53.1%), followed by resectable (39.5%) and metastatic disease (33.7%) at diagnosis. For nonlocal complications, the 12-month cumulative incidence was highest in patients with metastatic disease (57.0%), followed by unresectable (56.8%) and resectable disease (42.8%) at diagnosis. Multivariable analysis demonstrated several predictors of hospitalization for local and nonlocal complications, including age, race/ethnicity, location of residence, disease stage, tumor size, and diagnosis year. Radiation and chemotherapy had minimal impact on the risk of hospitalization. Conclusions: Despite the widely known predilection of nonlocal/distant disease spread in pancreatic cancer, local tumor progression also leads to substantial morbidity and frequent hospitalization.

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Nicholas Cardillo, Daniel M. Seible, Katherine E. Fero, Andrew R. Bruggeman, Reith R. Sarkar, Alexa Azuara, Daniel R. Simpson, and James D. Murphy

Background: The high prevalence of distant metastatic disease among patients with pancreatic cancer often draws attention away from the local pancreatic tumor. This study aimed to define the complications and hospitalizations from local versus distant disease progression among a retrospective cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: Records of 298 cases of pancreatic cancer treated at a single institution from 2004 through 2015 were retrospectively reviewed, and cancer-related symptoms and complications requiring hospitalization were recorded. Hospitalizations related to pancreatic cancer were attributed to either local or distant progression. Cumulative incidence analyses were used to estimate the incidence of hospitalization, and multivariable Fine-Gray regression models were used to identify factors predictive of hospitalizations. Results: The 1-year cumulative incidences of hospitalization due to local versus distant disease progression were 31% and 24%, respectively. Among 509 recorded hospitalizations, leading local etiologies included cholangitis (10%), biliary obstruction (7%), local procedure complication (7%), and gastrointestinal bleeding (7%). On multivariable analysis, significant predictors of hospitalization from local progression included unresectable disease (subdistribution hazard ratio [SDHR], 2.42; P<.01), black race (SDHR, 3.34; P<.01), younger age (SDHR, 1.02 per year; P=.01), tumor in the pancreatic head (SDHR, 2.19; P<.01), and larger tumor size (SDHR, 1.13 per centimeter; P=.02). Most patients who died in the hospital from pancreatic cancer (56%) were admitted for complications of local disease progression. Conclusions: Patients with pancreatic cancer experience significant complications of local tumor progression. Although distant metastatic progression represents a hallmark of pancreatic cancer, future research should also focus on improving local therapies.

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Emily J. Martin, Eric J. Roeland, Madison B. Sharp, Carolyn Revta, James D. Murphy, Katherine E. Fero, and Heidi N. Yeung

Background: Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is an effective approach to treat pain. However, data regarding patterns of PCA use for cancer pain are limited. The purpose of this study was to define the patterns of PCA use and related outcomes in hospitalized patients with cancer. Methods: We identified 90 patients with cancer admitted to a single academic center who received PCA for nonsurgical, cancer-related pain and survived to discharge between January 2013 and January 2014. Data collected included patient demographics, cancer diagnosis, type of cancer-related pain, PCA use, opioid-specific adverse events, and 30-day readmission rates for pain. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models were used to analyze the association between patient and clinical variables with PCA duration. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between patient and clinical variables and 30-day readmission rates. Results: The median length of hospitalization was 10.2 days with a median PCA duration of 4.4 days. Hematologic malignancies were associated with longer PCA use (P=.0001), as was younger age (P=.032). A trend was seen toward decreased 30-day readmission rates with longer PCA use (P=.054). No correlation was found between 30-day readmission and any covariate studied, including age, sex, cancer type (solid vs hematologic), pain type, palliative care consult, or time from PCA discontinuation to discharge. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is longer PCA use in younger patients and those with hematologic malignancies admitted with cancer-related pain, with a trend toward decreased 30-day readmission rates in those with longer PCA use.