Objectives: Since 1981, the Japan Pancreas Society has been hosting a nationwide pancreatic cancer registry. To commemorate its 30th anniversary, we review its history and latest achievement.
Methods: During 3 decades, more than 350 leading institutions in Japan contributed voluntarily to register and periodic follow-up. The registry was modified to protect privacy by encrypting and hash algorithm.
Results: From 1981 to 2007, 32,619 cumulative records were analyzed. The overall survival of invasive cancer was improved significantly. More patients with earlier stage or with intraductal and cystic neoplasms underwent resection. The strongest prognostic factor of Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) stage IIA and IIB tubular adenocarcinoma in the pancreatic head was histological grade, followed by tumor size, extent of lymph node dissection, and postoperative chemotherapy. The 5-year survival rate of Union for International Cancer Control stage 0 reached 85%. The improvement of survival of patients with invasive cancer in Japan can be attributed to the introduction of effective chemotherapies, regionalization, and the earlier diagnosis and treatment. Simple definition of "early pancreatic cancer" is needed.
Conclusions: At the 30th year anniversary, the Japan Pancreas Society nationwide pancreatic cancer registry is more shining than ever for current perspectives and for future diagnostic and treatment tactics.