The impact of age and comorbidity on localized pancreatic cancer outcomes: A US retrospective cohort analysis with implications for surgical centralization

Benjamin D. Powers, Kelvin Allenson, Jennifer A. Perone, Zachary Thompson, David Boulware, Jason W. Denbo, Joon Kyung Kim, Jennifer B. Permuth, Jose Pimiento, Pamela J. Hodul, Mokenge P. Malafa, Dae Won Kim, Jason B. Fleming, Daniel A. Anaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Age and comorbidity are independently associated with worse outcomes for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, the effect of combined age and comorbidity on PDAC outcomes has rarely been studied. This study assessed the impact of age and comorbidity (CACI) and surgical center volume on PDAC 90-day and overall survival (OS). Methods: This retrospective cohort study used the National Cancer Database from 2004 to 2016 to evaluate resected stage I/II PDAC patients. The predictor variable, CACI, combined the Charlson/Deyo comorbidity score with additional points for each decade lived ≥50 years. The outcomes were 90-day mortality and OS. Results: The cohort included 29,571 patients. Ninety-day mortality ranged from 2 % for CACI 0 to 13 % for CACI 6+ patients. There was a negligible difference (1 %) in 90-day mortality between high- and low-volume hospitals for CACI 0–2 patients; however, there was greater difference for CACI 3–5 (5 % vs. 9 %) and CACI 6+ (8 % vs. 15 %). The overall survival for CACI 0–2, 3–5, and 6+ cohorts was 24.1, 19.8, and 16.2 months, respectively. Adjusted overall survival showed a 2.7 and 3.1 month survival benefit for care at high-volume vs. low-volume hospitals for CACI 0–2 and 3–5, respectively. However, there was no OS volume benefit for CACI 6+ patients. Conclusions: Combined age and comorbidity are associated with short- and long-term survival for resected PDAC patients. A protective effect of higher-volume care was more impactful for 90-day mortality for patients with a CACI above 3. A centralization policy based on volume may have greater benefit for older, sicker patients. Key message: Combined comorbidity and age are strongly associated with 90-day mortality and overall survival for resected pancreatic cancer patients. When assessing the impact of age and comorbidity on resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma outcomes, 90-day mortality was 7 % higher (8 % vs. 15 %) for older, sicker patients treated at high-volume vs. low-volume centers but only 1 % (3 % vs. 4 %) for younger, healthier patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery Open Science
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Age
  • Comorbidities
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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