Trends in the Incidence and Treatment of Early-Onset Pancreatic Cancer

Michael Lapelusa, Chan Shen, Nina D. Arhin, Dana Cardin, Marcus Tan, Kamran Idrees, Sunil Geevarghese, Bapsi Chakravarthy, Jordan Berlin, Cathy Eng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Early-onset pancreatic cancer (EOPC) is relatively uncommon. It is unclear if the incidence of EOPC is evolving and how these patients are treated. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, population-based study using SEER 2004–2016. We evaluated annual age-adjusted incidence rate (AAIR), stage at presentation, and race/ethnicity among 7802 patients plus treatment patterns in 7307 patients (excluding neuroendocrine tumors) younger than 50. Results: The AAIR was higher in males while the rate increased faster in females. The AAIR was highest in Non-Hispanic Black patients and increased for all races/ethnicities over time. The percentage of patients diagnosed with distant-stage disease decreased over time but increased for localized-stage disease. Hispanic patients made up a larger proportion of patients over time compared to other groups. For localizedstage disease, primary surgery alone was the most utilized modality of therapy. For regional-stage disease, chemotherapy with radiation was the most utilized modality from 2004–2010, whereas chemotherapy alone was the most utilized from 2011–2016. For distant-stage disease, chemotherapy alone was the most utilized and used increasingly over time. Patients with EOPC received radiation and chemotherapy at similar rates to, and underwent surgery more frequently, than patients 50–69. Conclusions: The AAIR of EOPC increased over time, faster so in females. Groups who experience a higher burden of pancreatic cancer, particularly African Americans, experienced a higher burden of EOPC. Treatment of localized and regional-stage disease did not follow standard treatment guidelines for pancreatic cancer. Our findings indicate that EOPC patients received more treatment than their older counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number283
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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