Comparison of Outcomes and the Use of Multimodality Therapy in Young and Elderly People Undergoing Surgical Resection of Pancreatic Cancer


Address correspondence to Andrew Barbas, DUMC Box 3443, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail:



To compare outcomes and the use of multimodality therapy in young and elderly people with pancreatic cancer undergoing surgical resection.


Retrospective, single-institution study.


National Cancer Institute/National Comprehensive Cancer Network cancer center.


Two hundred three individuals who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma at Duke University Medical Center comprised the study population. Participants were divided into three groups based on age (<65, n = 97; 65–74, n = 74; ≥75, N = 32).


Perioperative outcomes, the use of multimodality therapy, and overall survival of the different age groups were compared.


Similar rates of perioperative mortality and morbidity were observed in all age groups, but elderly adults were more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility. A similar proportion of participants received neoadjuvant therapy, but a smaller proportion of elderly participants received adjuvant therapy. Overall survival was similar between the age groups. Predictors of poorer overall survival included coronary artery disease, positive resection margin, and less-differentiated tumor histology. Treatment with neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy were predictors of better overall survival.


Carefully selected elderly individuals experience similar perioperative outcomes and overall survival to those of younger individuals after resection of pancreatic cancer. There appears to be a significant disparity in the use of adjuvant therapy between young and elderly individuals.