Can survival in pancreatic adenocarcinoma be predicted by primary size or stage?

Am Surg. 1985 Jan;51(1):42-6.


Evaluation of diagnosis and treatment modalities in pancreas cancer is hampered by the lack of a suitable staging system. The current staging protocol of the American Joint Committee is arranged as follows: intrapancreatic disease (stage I), localized invasion (stage II), positive regional lymph nodes (stage III), and distant metastases (stage IV). Primary size is not taken into account and may represent an important determinant of survival, as it does in other malignancies. Primary size as a criterion of operability may assume increasing importance, given the demonstrated accuracy of sonography and computed tomography. Chart review was undertaken of the 119 consecutive patients with pancreas cancer presenting at Grady Hospital between 1976 and 1981. Ninety-one per cent were histologically confirmed. The presence or absence of metastases continues to be the most important factor predicting survival (P less than 0.001). It was demonstrated, however, that patients with primary lesions less than 5 cm lived significantly longer than those with primaries greater than or equal to 5 cm (P less than 0.02). Using the currently recommended American Joint Committee protocol, there was no difference in survival curves among stages, I, II, and III. The median survival times were 7.5 months, 5 months, and 5 months, respectively. Between combined stages I, II, and III and stage IV (median survival, 1.0 month), there was a significant difference (P less than 0.001) in survival.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery