Long-Term Survivors of Pancreatic Cancer: A California Population-Based Study

Adel Kardosh, Daphne Y. Lichtensztajn, Matthew A. Gubens, Pamela L. Kunz, George A. Fisher, Christina A. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer continues to carry a poor prognosis with survival rates that have had minimal improvement over the past 4 decades. We report a population-based, comprehensive analysis of long-term survivors of pancreatic adenocarcinoma diagnosed in the diverse population of California. Methods Data from the California Cancer Registry were used to evaluate long-term survival. A total of 70,442 patients diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 1988 and 2009 were identified. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with achieving 5-year survival. Results The overall 5-year survival was 2.5%, with minimal incremental improvements throughout the 3 decades. Age, stage, degree of differentiation, and surgical resection were associated with 5-year survival. Furthermore, younger age and receiving care at a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center were similarly correlated with 5-year survival regardless of surgical intervention. In addition, we identified stage, differentiation, and adjuvant chemotherapy as significant factors for long-term survival in surgically resected patients. In the unresectable patients, Asian/Pacific islanders and Hispanics were significantly more likely to reach the 5-year milestone than non-Hispanic whites. Conclusions Although pancreatic cancer mortality remains high, our study highlights baseline characteristics, treatment, biological factors, and ethnicity that are associated with long-term survival. These findings may serve as a springboard for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-966
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • differentiation
  • long-term survival
  • pancreatic adenocarcinoma
  • race/ethnicity
  • surgical resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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