Tumor Location in the Pancreatic Tail Is Associated with Decreased Likelihood of Receiving Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Justin A. Drake, Andrew M. Fleming, Stephen W. Behrman, Evan S. Glazer, Jeremiah L. Deneve, Danny Yakoub, Miriam W. Tsao, Paxton V. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Chemotherapy (CTX) is associated with improved survival for patients undergoing resection for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The current study evaluated the influence of tumor location on receipt of CTX. Methods: The NCDB (2006–2017) was queried to identify patients with clinical stage I-III PDAC. Predictors of receipt of CTX, sequencing of CTX, and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Results: Among 14,557 patients who underwent resection for PDAC 3,453 (24%) did not receive CTX. On multivariable analysis, patients with tail tumors were 15% less likely to receive CTX (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.747–0.968) and 58% less likely to receive neoadjuvant CTX (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.351–0.509) relative to patients with head/neck tumors. For patients with body tumors, there was no difference in rates of administration or sequence of CTX. For patients with resected tail tumors, median OS was 29.9 vs 18.9 months (p < 0.001) between those who did and did not receive CTX. For patients with tail tumors, independent predictors of not receiving CTX, regardless of sequence, were increasing age (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.935–0.965), increasing post-op length of stay (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.932–0.968), and 30-day post-op readmission (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.315–0.670). Conclusions: In patients with clinical stage I–III PDAC, tumor location within the tail was independently associated with not receiving CTX. Given the marked improvement in OS when CTX is administered, strategies aimed at increasing the number of these patients who receive CTX are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2136-2147
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Multimodal Therapy
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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