Nationwide trends in incidence, treatment and survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Eur J Cancer. 2020 Jan:125:83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2019.11.002. Epub 2019 Dec 13.


Background: In recent years, new treatment options have become available for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) including 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin. The impact hereof has not been assessed in nationwide cohort studies. This population-based study aimed to investigate nationwide trends in incidence, treatment and survival of PDAC.

Materials and methods: Patients with PDAC (1997-2016) were included from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Results were categorised by treatment and by period of diagnosis (1997-2000, 2001-2004, 2005-2008, 2009-2012 and 2013-2016). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate overall survival.

Results: In a national cohort of 36,453 patients with PDAC, the incidence increased from 12.1 (1997-2000) to 15.3 (2013-2016) per 100,000 (p < 0.001), whereas median overall survival increased from 3.1 to 3.8 months (p < 0.001). Over time, the resection rate doubled (8.3%-16.6%, p-trend<0.001), more patients received adjuvant chemotherapy (3.0%-56.2%, p-trend<0.001) and 3-year overall survival following resection increased (16.9%-25.4%, p < 0.001). Over time, the proportion of patients with metastatic disease who received palliative chemotherapy increased from 5.3% to 16.1% (p-trend<0.001), whereas 1-year survival improved from 13.3% to 21.2% (p < 0.001). The proportion of patients who only received supportive care decreased from 84% to 61% (p-trend<0.001).

Conclusion: The incidence of PDAC increased in the past two decades. Resection rates and use of adjuvant or palliative chemotherapy increased with improved survival in these patients. In all patients with PDAC, however, the survival benefit of 3 weeks is negligible because the majority of patients only received supportive care.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Incidence; Pancreatic cancer; Survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Analysis