Impact of classical and basal-like molecular subtypes on overall survival in resected pancreatic cancer in the SPACIOUS-2 multicentre study

Br J Surg. 2022 Oct 14;109(11):1150-1155. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znac272.


Background: The recently identified classical and basal-like molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer impact on overall survival (OS). However, the added value of routine subtyping in both clinical practice and randomized trials is still unclear, as most studies do not consider clinicopathological parameters. This study examined the clinical prognostic value of molecular subtyping in patients with resected pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Subtypes were determined on fresh-frozen resected pancreatic cancer samples from three Dutch centres using the Purity Independent Subtyping of Tumours classification. Patient, treatment, and histopathological variables were compared between subtypes. The prognostic value of subtyping in (simulated) pre- and postoperative settings was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses.

Results: Of 199 patients with resected pancreatic cancer, 164 (82.4 per cent) were classified as the classical and 35 (17.6 per cent) as the basal-like subtype. Patients with a basal-like subtype had worse OS (11 versus 16 months (HR 1.49, 95 per cent c.i. 1.03 to 2.15; P = 0.035)) than patients with a classical subtype. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, including only clinical variables, the basal-like subtype was a statistically significant predictor for poor OS (HR 1.61, 95 per cent c.i. 1.11 to 2.34; P = 0.013). When histopathological variables were added to this model, the prognostic value of subtyping decreased (HR 1.49, 95 per cent c.i. 1.01 to 2.19; P = 0.045).

Conclusion: The basal-like subtype was associated with worse OS in patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Adding molecular classification to inform on tumor biology may be used in patient stratification.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis