Patterns of care and outcomes of older versus younger patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer: A Fox Chase Cancer Center experience

Namrata Vijayvergia, Efrat Dotan, Karthik Devarajan, Kamel Hatahet, Farah Rahman, Julianna Ricco, Bianca Lewis, Sameer Gupta, Steven J. Cohen

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12 Scopus citations


Background: Older patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (mPC) are poorly represented in clinical trials. We compared patterns of care and outcomes of patients with mPC < and >. 65 yrs (Group 1 and Group 2, respectively) treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) to identify predictors of survival and better understand the treatment approaches. Methods: Charts of 579 patients with mPC treated at FCCC from 2000 to 2010 were reviewed. Group 1 and Group 2 were compared with respect to baseline, treatment characteristics, and overall survival (OS) after diagnosis of metastatic disease. Results: 299 patients in Group 1 (median age 57) and 280 patients in Group 2 (median age 73) were evaluated. Patients in Group 2 were less likely to receive any chemotherapy for mPC compared to Group 1 (65% vs 75%, p = 0.001) and if treated were less likely to receive more than one agent (37% vs 53%, p < 0.001). Survival was comparable between the two groups (p = 0.16) and Charlson Co-morbidity Index did not emerge as a prognostic factor. Longer OS was associated with higher number of agents used in both groups (p < 0.001). Liver metastases conferred worse survival (p = 0.02) while lung metastases conferred better survival in both groups (p = 0.002). Conclusions: Older mPC patients are less likely to receive chemotherapy and receive fewer agents yet have similar OS compared to younger patients. OS improves with increasing number of agents, supporting the use of combination chemotherapy in healthy older patients. Our findings encourage enrollment of older patients with mPC with good performance status onto clinical trials with stratification by site of metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Chemotherapy
  • Metastatic pancreatic cancer
  • Older adults


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