Detection, Treatment, and Survival of Pancreatic Cancer Recurrence in the Netherlands A Nationwide Analysis

Dutch Pancreatic Canc Grp, Lois A. Daamen, Vincent P. Groot, Marc G. Besselink, Koop Bosscha, Olivier R. Busch, Geert A. Cirkel, Ronald M. van Dam, Sebastiaan Festen, Bas Groot Koerkamp, Nadia Haj Mohammad, Erwin van der Harst, Ignace H. J. T. de Hingh, Martijn P. W. Intven, Geert Kazemier, Maartje Los, Gert J. Meijer, Vincent E. de Meijer, Vincent B. Nieuwenhuijs, Bobby K. PrangerMihaela G. Raicu, Jennifer M. J. Schreinemakers, Martijn W. J. Stommel, Robert C. Verdonk, Helena M. Verkooijen, Izaak Quintus Molenaar, Hjalmar C. van Santvoort*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether detection of recurrent pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in an early, asymptomatic stage increases the number of patients receiving additional treatment, subsequently improving survival.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: International guidelines disagree on the value of standardized postoperative surveillance for early detection and treatment of PDAC recurrence.

METHODS: A nationwide, observational cohort study was performed including all patients who underwent PDAC resection (2014-2016). Prospective baseline and perioperative data were retrieved from the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Audit. Data on follow-up, treatment, and survival were collected retrospectively. Overall survival (OS) was evaluated using multivariable Cox regression analysis, before and after propensity-score matching, stratified for patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic recurrence.

RESULTS: Eight hundred thirty-six patients with a median follow-up of 37 months (interquartile range 30-48) were analyzed. Of those, 670 patients (80%) developed PDAC recurrence after a median follow-up of 10 months (interquartile range 5-17). Additional treatment was performed in 159/511 patients (31%) with symptomatic recurrence versus 77/159 (48%) asymptomatic patients (P < 0.001). After propensity-score matching on lymph node ratio, adjuvant therapy, disease-free survival, and recurrence site, additional treatment was independently associated with improved OS for both symptomatic patients [hazard ratio 0.53 (95% confidence interval 0.42-0.67); P < 0.001] and asymptomatic patients [hazard ratio 0.45 (95% confidence interval 0.29-0.70); P < 0.001].

CONCLUSIONS: Additional treatment of PDAC recurrence was independently associated with improved OS, with asymptomatic patients having a higher probability to receive recurrence treatment. Therefore, standardized postoperative surveillance aiming to detect PDAC recurrence before the onset of symptoms has the potential to improve survival. This provides a rationale for prospective studies on standardized surveillance after PDAC resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-775
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date8-Jul-2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2022


  • disease recurrence
  • follow-up
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • PDAC
  • surveillance

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