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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 69

of 'Treatment for potentially resectable exocrine pancreatic cancer'

69
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Surveillance of pancreatic cancer patients after surgical resection.
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Sheffield KM, Crowell KT, Lin YL, Djukom C, Goodwin JS, Riall TS
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Ann Surg Oncol. 2012;19(5):1670. Epub 2011 Dec 6.
 
BACKGROUND: There are no clear recommendations to guide posttreatment surveillance in patients with pancreatic cancer. Our goal was to describe the posttreatment surveillance patterns in patients undergoing curative-intent resection for pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: We used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked data (1992-2005) to identify CT scans and physician visits in patients with pancreatic cancer who underwent curative resection (n = 2393). Surveillance began 90 days after surgery, and patients were followed for 2 years at 6-month intervals. Patients were censored if they died, experienced recurrence of disease, or entered hospice.
RESULTS: A total of 2045 patients survived uncensored to the beginning of the surveillance period. CT scan use decreased from 20.9% of patients in month 4 to 6.4% in month 27. There was no temporal pattern in CT use to suggest regular surveillance. Twenty-three percent of patients did not receive a CT scan in the year after surgery, increasing to 42% the second year. Patients who underwent adjuvant therapy and patients diagnosed in later years had higher CT scan use over the surveillance periods. Most patients visited both a primary care physician and a cancer specialist in each 6-month surveillance period. Patients who visited cancer specialists were more likely to have any CT scan and to be scanned more frequently.
CONCLUSIONS: Current surveillance patterns after resection for pancreatic cancer reflect the lack of established guidelines, implying a need for evaluation and standardization of surveillance protocols. The lack of a temporal pattern in CT testing suggests that most were obtained to evaluate symptoms rather than for routine surveillance.
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Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA. kmsheffi@utmb.edu
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